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The fortunes of Byzantine Constantinople have always been inextricably linked to the sea.

The Byzantine Harbours

The Byzantine Harbours of Constantinople

­topographical, demographic and economic development of the city and its networks are reflected in

of Constantinople
the history of its harbours. This volume offers an exhaustive study of Constantinople’s Byzantine harbours
on the Sea of Marmara and the Golden Horn, as well as nearby European and Asian landing stages.
The fifteen chapters by eleven contributors here present a broad synthesis of the current state of research
using written, pictorial and archaeological sources.

Falko Daim · Ewald Kislinger (eds)

Daim · Kislinger (eds)

Byzanz zwischen Orient und Okzident:

Veröffentlichungen des Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus Mainz / Frankfurt

Die Reihe Byzanz zwischen Orient und Okzident wird vom Vorstand des gleichnamigen
Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus, einer Kooperation des Römisch-Germanischen Zentralmuseums,
der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, der Goethe-Universität Frankfurt und des Leibniz-Instituts
BOO  Band 24

für Europäische Geschichte in Mainz, herausgegeben.

Die Reihe dient als Publikationsorgan für das Forschungsprogramm des Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus, das
Byzanz, seine Brückenfunktion zwischen Ost und West sowie kulturelle Transfer- und Rezeptionsprozesse
von der Antike bis in die Neuzeit in den Blick nimmt. Die Methoden und Untersuchungsgegenstände der
verschiedenen Disziplinen, die sich mit Byzanz beschäftigen, werden dabei jenseits traditioneller Fächer-
grenzen zusammengeführt, um mit einem historisch-kulturwissenschaftlichen Zugang Byzanz und seine
materielle und immaterielle Kultur umfassend zu erforschen.
Byzanz zwischen Orient und Okzident  Veröffentlichungen des Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus Mainz / Frankfurt
Byzanz zwischen Orient und Okzident  | 24
Veröffentlichungen des Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus Mainz / Frankfurt


Interdisziplinäre Forschungen
zu den Häfen von der Römischen Kaiserzeit bis zum Mittelalter in Europa
C. von Carnap-Bornheim  ·  F. Daim  ·  P. Ettel  ·  U. Warnke (Hrsg.)

Band 10

The Byzantine Harbours
of Constantinople

Falko Daim  ·  Ewald Kislinger (eds)

Verlag des Römisch-Germanischen Zentralmuseums | Mainz | 2021

Redaktion: Stefan Albrecht (RGZM)
Satz: Claudia Nickel (RGZM)
Cover: Dominik Heher, Claudia Nickel (RGZM),
unter Verwendung eines Bildes von Antoine Helbert
Übersetzung: Leo Ruickbie, Antje Bosselmann-Ruickbie

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der Deutschen Nationalbibliothek

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der Deutschen Nationalbibliografie; detaillierte bibliografische
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ISSN 2626-9392 (Print)

ISSN 2629-2769 (Online)
ISBN 978-3-88467-344-7

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eISBN: 978-3-96929-086-6
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Printed in Germany.

Falko Daim · Ewald Kislinger

  7 Foreword

Ewald Kislinger
  9 On Better and Worse Sites: The Changing Importance of the Harbours of Constantinople

Arne Effenberger
 19 Constantinople / İstanbul: The Early Pictorial Sources

Alkiviadis Alexandros Ginalis · Ayşe Ercan-Kydonakis

Some Reflections on the Archaeology of the Late Antique and Byzantine Harbours
 33 of Constantinople

Harbours and Landing Stages of Constantinople

Andreas Külzer
 75 The Harbour of Theodosius in Yenikapı, İstanbul: A Harbour Area through the Ages

Dominik Heher
 93 Harbour of Julian – Harbour of Sophia – Kontoskalion

Dominik Heher
109 The Harbour of the Bukoleon Palace

Ewald Kislinger
133 Neorion and Prosphorion: The Old Harbours on the Golden Horn

Johannes Preiser-Kapeller
141 Heptaskalon and Other Landing Stages on the Golden Horn

Peter Schreiner
The Western Landing Stages (σκάλαι) in the Golden Horn:
151 Some Remarks Relating to the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries

Neslihan Asutay-Effenberger
161 The Kynegion District and its Harbour in Late Byzantine and Ottoman Times

Ewald Kislinger
171 The Golden Horn: Constantinople’s Superharbour (Überhafen) and its Chain

Harbours, Landing Stages, and Moorings of Constantinople’s Outskirts

Grigori Simeonov
181 The Harbour and Landing Stages of Hebdomon

Grigori Simeonov
199 The Landing Stage of Brachialion
Grigori Simeonov
209 The Moorings at Kosmidion

Klaus Belke
Gates to Asia Minor: The Harbours of Chalcedon, Chrysopolis,
223 Hiereia and Eutropiu Limen opposite Constantinople

235 Maps of Constantinople

239 Bibliography

273 Index (compiled by Klaus Belke)

285 List of Contributors

287 Sigles Used

Translators‘ note:
Each author has made an individual decision on the style of naming places and people,
including whether to use Latin or Greek forms, meaning that spellings will vary throughout
the book, which is reflected in the index.

During the work on the Istanbul underground about twenty reflect the current state of research. The development of
years ago, the remains of the medieval Harbour of Theodosius the Constantinopolitan harbours covers the entire Byzantine
were rediscovered, along with nearly 40 shipwrecks. This was period from the fourth to the fifteenth centuries. In addition,
an archaeological find of the century and a substantial argu- the immediate periphery must also be considered: on the
ment for including the Byzantine harbour landscape in the one hand, the harbours on the Asian side of the Bosphorus;
Priority Programme 1630 of the DFG (Deutsche Forschungs- and, on the other hand, the landing stages in the immediate
gemeinschaft / German Research Council) »Harbours from the Thracian vicinity of the city walls, both on the Golden Horn
Roman Imperial Period to the Middle Ages«. and on the Sea of Marmara.
One of the individual projects within this Priority Pro- The first edition of this book was published in 2016 in
gramme is »Ports and Landing Places on the Balkan Coasts of German as Volume 4 of the Leibniz ScienceCampus’s book
the Byzantine Empire (Fourth to Twelfth Century): Technology series »Byzantium between Orient and Occident« (BOO). The
and Monuments, Economy and Communication«. It is part eight contributors produced a total of twelve essays and have
of the Leibniz ScienceCampus Mainz / Frankfurt: Byzantium all worked within the frame of the Priority Programme 1630
between Orient and Occident, a collaboration between the of the DFG or co-operated with it. This was reviewed several
Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum in Mainz (RGZM), the times, mostly appreciatively, but also with suggestions for
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and other partners, es- possible deepening and broadening of the contents.
pecially the Viennese School of Byzantine Studies (at the Uni- In response to this, the two editors of this volume, Falko
versity of Vienna and Austrian Academy of Sciences / ÖAW). Daim and Ewald Kislinger, decided in 2020 to publish an ex-
As was generally the case throughout history, Constan- panded version in English to reach a broader audience. The
tinople also played a central role in seafaring. Situated at the original contributions were not only translated but updated,
southern mouth of the Bosphorus on a peninsula between and the now eleven authors of different nationalities and
the Sea of Marmara and the Golden Horn, the daily life of the mother tongues have delivered a total of fifteen essays for
inhabitants in many respects depended on the sea, and the the English edition. They have endeavoured to reflect the
harbours formed the interface between the city and the sea. broad linguistic spectrum of publications on the topic in
For centuries, Constantinople was one of the most important Byzantine studies, considering a narrow approach (as seen
and powerful trading centres in the Mediterranean. In addi- in some recent companions) to be less fruitful. All publica-
tion, the Byzantine Empire also dominated the Mediterranean tions on the subject that were published, known to us, and
militarily for a long time (thalassocracy) and its main fleet was accessible by the end of 2020 have been taken into account.
stationed in Constantinople. Without the commitment of all the authors, this volume
Written sources mention a number of smaller and larger could not have been completed so swiftly, including the
harbours that were repeatedly rebuilt, renamed or even addition of an index, which was the special responsibility
newly built over the centuries. These harbours have been of Klaus Belke. Johannes Preiser-Kapeller and Michael Ober
researched over the years. Wolfgang Müller-Wiener earlier were in charge of the maps and plans. Our sincere thanks
brought these results together in his work »Die Häfen von must also go to other colleagues: Leo Ruickbie and Antje Bos-
Byzantion – Konstantinupolis – Istanbul« (»The Harbours selmann-Ruickbie, who prepared the English translations with
of Byzantion, Constantinople, Istanbul«), published posthu- great dedication and expertise, with additional input from
mously in 1994. However, research on the topography of the Laury Sarti, and provided editorial co-ordination, and Franz
city and on Byzantine seafaring, which has intensified since Siegmeth, who prepared various illustrations for printing. We
then, has yielded new data and perspectives. would also like to express our thanks to Claudia Nickel and
During a special course held at the University of Vienna Stefan Albrecht at the RGZM publishing house.
in 2014, the idea arose to not only include the harbours of As has always been the function of the harbours them-
Constantinople in the DFG project’s catalogue in an overview, selves, this volume is not intended to be an end but a starting
but also dedicate a separate anthology to them that would point for new research.
Mainz and Vienna, March 2021
Falko Daim and Ewald Kislinger

In: Falko Daim  ·  Ewald Kislinger (eds), The Byzantine Harbours of Constantinople. Byzanz zwischen Orient und Okzident 24 (Mainz 2021).
Ewald Kislinger

On Better and Worse Sites:

The Changing Importance
of the Harbours of Constantinople

The harbours of ancient Byzantion and later Constantinople Eleutherios, said to have been created under Constantine the
in its early days were orientated towards the south-eastern Great. More details are unknown because it was filled in with
coast of the Golden Horn where it opens into the Bosphorus. excavated earth from levelling work for the erection of the
Neorion and Prosphorion 1 were situated here, semi-circular Column of Theodosius in the Forum Tauri 6. It was generously
harbours of the old type, probably lined with colonnades, and compensated for by the westward re-establishment of the
also the ferry crossings to Chalcedon und Sykai (Pera) 2. The Harbour of Theodosius (probably equivalent to the Harbour
Harbour of Julian was added in the south of the peninsula, of Caesarius) at the mouth of the Lykos / Lycus 7.
facing the Sea of Marmara, soon after Constantinian expan- The urban growth – whose two phases are clearly marked
sion of Constantinople 3. The original name of this harbour by the Constantinian and Theodosian city walls 8  – and in
provides an approximate dating, especially since there was conjunction with that the expansion of the harbours, is thus
a statue of Emperor Julian (reg. 360-363) 4. It collapsed in concentrated in the south, on the coast of the Propontis.
the year 533, which, together with the construction work of Until the seventh century, however, there was still a balance
Justin II (reg. 565-578) 5, paved the way for a renaming after between the infrastructure and the flow of goods, such as
his wife Sophia. Further to the west was the small Harbour of food supplies, but also building materials like timber and

1 On the two harbours, see my chapter on Neorion and Prosphorion in this vol- volume. – In the Vlanga quarter (in the area of the Theodosios Harbour, not at
ume  – Cf. Janin, Con­stan­tinople 236  – Müller-Wiener, Häfen 6-7.  – Berger, the Kontoskalion, see Günsenin, »City« Harbours 104), Jewish tanners were
Regionen und Straßen 362. 364-365. – Schreiner, Costantinopoli 106-107. – settled in the Palaeologan period (who before had been active near the south
Leszka, Konstantynopolitańskie porty 6. 8. 12. – Magdalino, Harbors 13-14 (un- banks of the Golden Horn, see below). The contributions by Berger, Langa
documented); Stavroulaki, Seaports (without merit). – Dark, Eastern Harbours Bostanı (1993) seems to have been unknown to Günsenin, »City« Harbours
152-163 (cf. Dark, New Post Office). – Berger, Häfen von Byzanz und Konstantin- (2012). – On the private imperial harbour a little further east, see Heher, Bou-
opel is for the better part based (as admitted by the author, 111) on the research koleonhafen, and Heher, Harbour of the Bukoleon, in this volume. – Berger,
by Müller-Wiener, Häfen, therefore, does not need to be quoted here. Berger, Häfen 83 without knowledge of Heher, Bukoleonhafen. – Günsenin, »City«
Häfen 77. 80-81 contains a number of borrowings from the above-mentioned Harbours 103.
article, but with additional (though sparse) footnotes. – Günsenin, »City« Har- 4 Zosimos, Historia Nova III 11 (II 25 Paschoud). – Prokopios, De aedificiis I 4, 28 (IV
bours 99-105 is based (see 99) on Janin, Constantinople, Müller-Wiener, Häfen 26 Haury / Wirth). – Ioannes Malalas, Chronographia XVIII 82 (404 Thurn). – The
and Mango, Développement, Recent archaeological evidence is considered in Notitia urbis Con­stan­tinopolitanae 232, 9 referred to as the portus novus in re-
the short overview, particularly on the district of Sirkeci. A number of mistakes gion III. Berger, Regionen und Straßen 360-361; English translation in Matthews,
in writing of historical denominations are striking: Portus Theodasiacus and Kon- Notitia 88. – For the dating of the sources, see Berger, Regionen und Straßen
taskalion (op. cit. 103. 104 with n. 2). Improved in Günsenin, Harbours and 350-351: main part around 425.
Shipbuilding 414-416. 5 Leon Grammatikos, Chronographia 135 (Bekker). – Symeon Logothetes, Chron-
2 Notitia urbis Con­stan­tinopolitanae 233, 15 (scala Timasii); 234, 19 and 11. – icon 147 (Wahlgren). – Patria Kon­stan­tinupoleos III 37 (230 Preger). – Damage
Chronicon Paschale 569 and 572 (Dindorf): the relics of three saints (Samuel, caused by fire may have preceded it (Ioannes Malalas, Chronographia XVIII 131
Joseph, the son of Jacob, and Zachariah) landed in 406 or 415 at the skala [422 Thurn]). – Theophanes, Chronographia 235 [de Boor]).
Chalkedonensia. On their location, see Berger, Regionen und Straßen 362. 364. – 6 Patria Kon­stan­tinupoleos II 63 and III 91 (184-185 and 248 Preger). – Müller-Wie-
For completeness, the landing place below the Arcadianai baths in the Acropolis ner, Häfen 9 n. 25: located below the Myrelaion complex. – Berger, Untersuch-
area is mentioned: Prokopios, De aedificiis I 11, 1-2 (IV 41 Haury / Wirth), where – ungen 581-582. – Mango, Développement 55. – Cf. Külzer, Harbour of Theodo-
obviously, so as not to cause a stir – the imprisoned Pope Martin I was disem- sius, in this volume.
barked before his trial in 653, according to his Greek vita (Vita Martini ch. 6 [258 7 Notitia urbis Con­stan­tinopolitanae 239: portus Theodosiacus in region XII. Mat-
Peeters]). See also, Chiesa, Biografie 216 n. 10. – Also, the Mangana, the arsenal thews, Notitia 95. – See Külzer, Harbour of Theodosius, in this volume. – Cf.
for weapons and siege equipment, would have had access to the sea, as well as Müller-Wiener, Häfen 9. – Janin, Con­stan­tinople 226-228. – Mango, Dévelop-
the south-lying palace of the same name (Schneider, Mauern und Tore 95 and pement 39-40. – Berger, Regionen und Straßen 372-373. – Kislinger, Lebens-
105 [plan 5]. – Demangel / Mamboury, Quartier des Manganes 7-8 n. 2 pl. I-II). mittel. – Ercan, Yenikapı. – Leszka, Konstantynopolitańskie porty 10-11. – Güns-
3 See the contribution by Heher, Harbour of Julian, in this volume. – Cf. Mül­ler- enin, Harbours and Shipbuilding 417-418. However, the Belisar Tower was not
Wiener, Häfen 8-9. – Janin, Con­stan­tinople 231-234. – Mango, Développement situated in the area of the Theodosios Harbour (see Günsenin, op. cit. 418), but
38-40. – Magdalino, Con­stan­tinople 20-22. – Berger, Regionen und Straßen at the western end of the Boukoleon Harbours. – Pulak / Ingram / Jones, Yenikapı
360-361. – Berger, Häfen 82-83. 85. – Leszka, Konstantynopolitańskie porty 102-103. – On the identification, see Guilland, Études de topographie II 95-96
7-9. 13. 15. – Günsenin, Harbours and Shipbuilding 417. – The Kontoskalion and Berger, Untersuchungen 575. Like the Harbour of Julian, that of Theodosios
Harbour cannot be equated with the Eleutherios Harbour (slightly east of the may previously have been a bay: Mango, Shoreline 20 fig. 1; Günsenin, Harbours
Theodosios Harbour), as assumed by Günsenin, »City« Harbours 104 and Iva- and Shipbuilding 419.
nov, Konstantinopol 416-418. The latter had been filled with the excavated 8 Asutay-Effenberger / Effenberger, Eski Imaret Camii.  – Asutay-Effenberger / Ef-
material from the former during the construction of the Forum Tauri under fenberger, Verlauf der Kon­stan­tinsmauer. – Asutay-Effenberger, Landmauer. –
Emperor Theodosius I (379-395), see Külzer, Harbour of Theodosius, in this Müller-Wiener, Bildlexikon 286-311 (each with older literature).

In: Falko Daim  ·  Ewald Kislinger (eds), The Byzantine Harbours of Constantinople. Byzanz zwischen Orient und Okzident 24 (Mainz 2021).
DOI: On Better and Worse Sites  |  Ewald Kislinger 9
bricks 9, which is reflected in the various granaries: the hor­ somewhat confused history in the Patria Kon­stan­tinoupoleos,
rea Troadensia, Valentiaca and Con­stan­tiaca are located in sailors traded grain in the square; a bronze bushel that was
the fifth region near the Strategion 10 (and thereby near the used (earlier) as a standard weight was placed on an arch-
Harbour of Prosphorion). Periodic inspections by the emperor way as a warning to always sell at the correct value of gold
are testified only for these 11, but this could be due to the fact coin (nomisma) 17. The Empress Eirene had halls (triklinous)
that the custom originated in earlier times, when the later built at the bakery (or bakeries) of the Lamia / tēs Lamias tou
horrea Alexandrina and the Theodosius granary in the ninth pistoreiou (or ta pistoreia) – again a local reference to grain
Region on the Sea of Marmara (on the eastern edge of the is made – which, according to the source context, served as
Harbour of Theodosius in region XII) 12 had not yet existed. At public outlets 18.
the Harbour of Julian / Sophia, the Church of St Thecla en tois In addition to charitable facilities, other establishments
krithopoleiois 13 indicates the handling and sale of barley and flourished near the harbours, as in different times and differ-
another granary, which in addition to the five other (probably ent places: establishments of commercial hospitality, public
larger) granaries mentioned in the Notitia urbis Con­stan­ houses with their range of alcoholic drinks for sailors and
tinopolitanae (242, 29 Seeck) signifying a balanced devel- dockworkers, sometimes also associated with prostitution 19.
opment of such facilities on the Golden Horn and Propontis. At the same time, state authority had a presence at the
However, the period during which the different horrea harbours: officials of the eparchy exercised control, such as
were active was varying. The granary complex at the Harbour the limenarchoi (harbour masters), and levies such as the
of Theodosius in the southwest was known as tēs Lamias limenatikon and skaliatikon (from skala, landing stage) were
from the seventh century 14 (which incidentally confirms the collected. The parathalassitai administered justice in disputes
ongoing operation of the harbour even before the recent ship among sailors, official surveys of ships took place at the
finds 15), not far from the square tou Amastrianou 16. This in Neorion, the l­ogothetes tou dromou was responsible for
turn was located just north of the harbour. According to a privileged foreigners 20.

 9 Themistios, Oratio 6. 83c-d and Or. 27, 336 d (124 Schenkl / Downey 160-161; 12 Notitia urbis Con­stan­tinopolitanae 237, 6.  – Berger, Regionen und Straßen
Downey / Norman). – Magdalino, Maritime Neighborhoods 211-212. – Magda- 369 does not want to rule out that the Alexandrina granary could have been
lino, Grain Supply 43-46. – Müller, Getreide. – Kislinger, Pane. – Durliat, L’ap- situated at the Harbour of Julian because of the boundaries of region IX.
provisionnement 26-27. – Prigent, Rôle des provinces d´Occident. – Kislinger, 13 Synaxarium Ecclesiae Con­stan­tinopolitanae 78 (Delehaye).
Lebensmittel. – Wade, Maritime Cults 269. – Several finds of shipwrecks at 14 Haldon, Comes horreorum. – Durliat, L´approvisionnement 22. 29-30. – Mun-
Yenikapı / Harbour of Theodosios (e. g., YK 1, 5, 11, 14, 23, 24; see Pulak / In- dell-Mango, Commercial Map 200-201.
gram / Jones, Yenikapı 105-110 and n. 13. – Jones, Yenikapı 12. – Jones, Cargo 15 Berger, Langa Bostani, however, sees a broad harbour function only given until
Vessel. – Kocabaş, Shipwrecks 109-111 distinguishes between »sea going trad- the beginning of the 8th c., because it has been documented. – Cf. Berger, Re-
ers« [YK 3, 8, 15, 17-22] and »local trading vessels« [YK 6-10, 12, 14, 31-32]), gionen und Straßen 373: »Der Theodosiushafen schließlich […] in einer tiefen
proving its commercial significance (and those of most other harbours of the Bucht, die im Lauf der folgenden Jahrhunderte verlandete« (The harbour of
city) for their subsistence. On the basis of the »local trading vessels« the im- Theodosius […] in a deep bay, which silted up in the course of the following
portance of the local subsistence in the Mediterranean is proven, as stated by centuries) (scil. after 425), which would have increasingly affected its operability
Horden / Purcell, Corrupting Sea 143-152. 365-377. – The wines from all parts as a harbour. – Mango, Développement 55.
of the empire served at the banquet on the occasion of the crowing of Justin II 16 Magdalino, Con­stan­tinople 2 (map). – Janin, Con­stan­tinople 68-69.
were probably brought to Constantinople by ship (Corippus, In Laudem Jus- 17 Patria Kon­stan­tinupoleos II 51 (179 Preger). – Parastaseis syntomoi chronikai
tini III 83-93, 96-102, cf. I 109-111; Kislinger, Weinhandel 141-147; about wine § 12 (72-74 Cameron / Herrin). On the original location perhaps at one of the
merchants in antiquity s. Brockaert, Navicularii 266-268). – According to Güns- Propontis granaries, see Magdalino, Con­stan­tinople 24 n. 50. – Kislinger, Leb-
enin, »City« Harbours 104, from the 7th to the 13th c. local supplies were not ensmittel 308-309 n. 31.
predominantly unloaded at the harbours on the Golden Horn, but mostly at the 18 Patria Kon­stan­tinupoleos III 85 (246 Preger). In the case of at least this facility
harbours on the Propontis coast. – For the later centuries, see Jacoby, Mediter- the late antique concept of the pistrina publica is likely – their number was
ranean Food and Wine, and Günsenin, Ganos, and Jacoby, Mediterranean Food above average in regions V and IX (i. e., near granaries): Notitia urbis Con­stan­
and Wine; Günsenin, Ganos and Howard-Johnston, Commerce à Byzance 337- tinopolitanae 234, 24 and 237, 15. Berger, Regionen und Straßen 384-385. –
338; about emporoi (traders) and kapeloi (small local merchants) in antiquity s. Adapted to feeding the poor during the Middle Byzantine period (cf. Volk, Ge-
Broekaert, Navicularii 257-258. – On archaeological finds of amphorae in the sundheitswesen 87. 96-97. 130. 182. 208). Magdalino, Con­stan­tinople 25 n. 54
area of the Theodosios Harbour (probably for wine), see Günsensin, Harbours rightly refers to the nearby Myrelaion structure (Mango, Développement 59)
and Shipbuilding 420 with fig. 3 (YK 12). – The trade privileges of the branch that was in the early 10th c. re-dedicated by Romanos I Lekapenos as a charita-
of Monemvasia in Pegai (today Karabiga, 56 km west of Bandirma), dating from ble institution, with hospital (xenon), nursing home (gerokomeion) and a daily
1328 and c. 1363-1373, testify to the continuous role of Constantinople as a distribution of bread (Theophanes Continuatus, Chronographia 430 [Bekker]).
maritime trade centre: Kislinger, Zweite Privilegurkunde. – On the significance Kislinger, Hospitals, in: Daim, Brill´s History and Culture of Byzantium 469-471.
of the sea trade in general, see Necipoğlu, Byzantine Economy and the Sea 19 On a state inn for arriving travellers at the Harbour of Julian, built by Isaac II An-
437-438: »Maritime trade was more profitable than overland trade […] the gelos, see Niketas Choniates, Historia 445, 19-23 (van Dieten), where the xeno­
sea always remained a major factor fostering trade and a generally flourishing docheion (on this term, see Kislinger, Kaiser Julian 373-378; Kislinger, Lodging
economy of Byzantium«. 346-347) is denominated as pandocheion, thus in an archaising way. – General
10 Notitia urbis Con­stan­tinopolitanae 233-234, 15-17. English translation in Mat- observations (Antiquity), see Rauh / Dillon / Davina-McClain, Ochlos nautikos;
thews, Notitia 90. – Mango, Triumphal Way 187-188 (appendix: The Situation Stasolla, Strutture per l´accoglienza (on Rome, Palermo, Cagliari, Naples, Pisa,
of the Strategion). – Drakoulis, Functional Organization 153-182 merely pro- Gaeta); Byzantium: Kislinger, Lebensmittel 310 n. 47 and Kislinger, Reisen 372-
vides a wordy presentation of the source and relevant literature. – Kislinger, 374 n. 188. 194; Veikou / Nilson, Ports and harbours 268-269; entirely unschol-
Eugenios-Tor 728. – Kislinger, Lebensmittel 311. 314-315. – Berger, Regionen arly: Stavroulaki, Seaports 28-30 (inns, public houses at / near harbours). On
und Straßen 384-385. – Westbrook, Forum of the Strategion. See also n. 45. – taverns in the area of Heptaskalon, see Preiser-Kapeller, Heptaskalon, in this
For comparisons from the Aegean in Antiquity, see Bouras, Geography of Con- volume, Magdalino, Review 261, and earlier Kislinger, Lebensmittel 317 with
nections 214-215. n. 97 and 98. – Macrides, Travel, unfortunately, contains no contribution spe-
11 Kon­stan­tinos Porphyrogennetos, De cer. II 51 (III 394-398 Feissel). – Marcellinus cifically on the hospitality industry and lodging in the Byzantine sphere.
Comes, Chronicon ad a. 431 (15 Croke) concerning a ceremonial visit by The- 20 Book of the Eparch / Eparchenbuch 17.3-4 (128 Koder); Peira 218 (Zachariä von
odosios II could also refer to the southern horrea. – Westbrook, Forum of the Lingenthal) – Ahrweiler, Fonctionnaires. – Penna, Imperial Acts 21-24. – ODB III
Strategion 10. 1586-1587. – Makris, Studien 246-247. 251-252.

10 On Better and Worse Sites  |  Ewald Kislinger

In summary, these harbours fulfilled a threefold purpose: ing a fight of the circus factions, the Greens and the Blues 26.
first, they served as shipping centres for handling and storing This would match the information that the markets for mar-
goods; second, the harbours and the neighbouring areas itime merchandise (agorai tōn thalassiōn emporeumatōn) at
provided a place of rest and recreation for sailors; third, they Neorion were relocated to the Harbour of Julian by Justinian I
were part of a pan-Mediterranean system of long-distance (reg. 527-565) 27. The Harbour of Neorion continued to exist,
and regional shipping routes 21. The harbours of Constantino- and Emperor Leontius even had it dredged in 698 28. During
ple as a whole were a hub of international dimensions and the months of fighting between Emperor Anastasius II and
an essential element for the importance of the city, and the the usurper Theodosius in 715, Neorion functioned as the
Golden Horn was of great significance for this 22. »The sea, base for the imperial fleet, alongside Hagios Mamas on the
its mariners, and who serviced the maritime trading industry Bosphorus 29. In general, it can be assumed that the harbours
influenced life in the eastern capital […] Constantinople was on the easily defensible Golden Horn 30 served the navy since
shaped by its maritime setting« 23. the first Arab siege of 668/669 31, including a shipyard or
From the Harbour of Julian, a broad street led to the Tetra­ shipyards. Ensuring the secrecy of armaments and weapons,
pylon / Anemodoulion, a gate construction that arched over especially that of Greek or liquid fire (hygron pyr) 32, was cer-
the intersection with the Mese 24. All around to the south was tainly the primary motive in shielding this military complex
a market quarter called artopoleia, where not only bread was from spying eyes, which was made easier by the concentra-
sold, but also snack bars were installed (as they are today in tion of civilian seafaring elsewhere. Berger is incorrect in be-
such an environment), selling fish, cheese, pulses and wine. lieving that the Harbour of Julian / Sophia (later Kontoskalion)
Andrew of Constantinople (also Andrew the Fool) chose to on the Sea of Marmara had been a »naval base« in the Mid-
stay here in the tenth century 25. What is relevant for us, is dle Byzantine period 33. This only applies to the Palaeologan
that, once again, the surrounding neighbourhood attests period (see below and n. 133).
to the continuing functioning of a granary (cf. the Church From the sixth century, the harbours on the Propontis
of St ­Thecla en tois krithopoleiois, n. 12) at this harbour in were preferred for handling goods for the simple reason that
the Middle Byzantine period, thus not only that of the La- they were closer to the commercial and political centre, which
mia-horreum. extended parallel to the south coast of the city along an east-
The three granaries at the Harbour of Prosphorion on west axis, with the Mese as its main artery 34. Several squares
the Golden Horn, on the other hand, disappeared from the opened along this portico-lined street, such as the Forum
sources after the sixth century. If the horrea can be equated of Constantine or the Forum Tauri 35, to mention only the
with parathalassia apothekai (magazines near the sea), then most important. This is where many traders and craftsmen
the last document from 561 attests to their destruction dur- had their shops 36, and around the Forum Tauri in region VIII

21 On Constantinople as a starting point for Mediterranean sea routes, see Kislinger, anou (see above n. 16), near the Propontis horrea. – In Berger, Regionen und
Sea Routes 320-322 and Kislinger, Markets and Fairs, Trade Routes 390-393, Straßen 397 (fig. 5). 405-406, the hypothetical road from the Harbour of Ju-
both in Daim, Brill´s History and Culture of Byzantium. – On connectivity, see lian (Kumkapi) contradicts an intersection with the Mese (and continuation by
Kolditz, Horizonte maritimer Konnektivität; Bouras, Geography of Connections; the Makros Embolos) at the site of the Tetrapylon (on this denomination, see
Avramea, Land and Sea Communications; McCormick, Origins 502-508. 531-547. Berger, Toponyms of Constantinople 164).
593 (map 20.2 shipping routes: simplified segments); Külzer, Pilgerwege und Kul- 25 Vita Andreae Sali 28, 38, 92-94 (Rydén). – Cf. Parastaseis syntomoi chronikai
torte 183-187. – Heher / Preiser-Kapeller / Simeonov, Vom Lokalen zum Globalen § 13 (76 Cameron / Herrin): Artotyrianon. – Mango, Développement 55. – Mag-
201-209, on the Orbis Stanford Geospatial Network Model of the Roman World, dalino, Con­stan­tinople 22-23.
which classifies and analyses junctions according to degree-centrality (intensity of 26 Ioannes Malalas, Chronographia XVIII, 135 (424 Thurn). The mansion of An-
connections), betweenness-centrality (importance within the whole system) and dreas en tō Neoriō was also destroyed (loc. cit.).
closeness-centrality (distance to other junctions). In the general network, several 27 Parastaseis syntomoi chronikai § 72 (152 Cameron / Herrin). – Patria Kon­stan­
clusters exist. Its junctions share a higher degree of connectivity, e. g., the Propon- tinupoleos II 68 (188 Preger).
tis region and the Black Sea area. Constantinople is the hub of both clusters. – The 28 Theophanes, Chronographia 370 (de Boor).
compilation of common law orders in seafaring in the Nomos Rhodion Nautikos 29 Theophanes, Chronographia 385-386 (de Boor). – Ahrweiler, Byzance et la mer
(8th c.?) emphasises their empire-wide importance with a need for harbours (Let- 430-431.
sios, Seegesetz der Rhodier; Howard-Johnston, Commerce à Byzance 313-316. 30 For the blockade chain attached to this entrance as needed, see Pryor / Wilson,
340-341). – The internationality of Constantinopolitan harbours is demonstrated Chain. – Guilland, Chaine (= Guilland, Études de topographie II 121-146). –
by, e. g., small finds from the Theodosian Harbour, such as a gold ring belonging Kedar, Chains 5-6. 22-24. 26. – Makris, Studien 182-184. – Kislinger, Golden
to Undila (possibly of Gothic origin, 6th c.) and a (Middle Byzantine?) roof tile, Horn, in this volume.
which names amongst others a certain Karelos / Karilos, a name commonly found 31 Jankowiak, First Arab Siege.
in the Latin-speaking provinces of the Western Merovingian sphere: Tsivikis, Epig- 32 Haldon, »Greek Fire« Revisited.
raphy 121-122 and 124-125. – Feuser, Hafenstädte 1-2. 4-5. 15. 33 Berger, Häfen 83. See the earlier reference in Berger, Häfen von Byzanz und
22 See Kislinger, Golden Horn, in this volume. Konstantinopel 114: »… der Hafen der Sophia, in dem Zeit seines Bestehens
23 Wade, Eternal Spirit of Thalassa 54. – Criticism of sailors’ negative influence on immer die byzantinische Kriegsflotte lag«. Cf. now Heher, Harbour of Julian, in
urban society in Libanius, Oratio XI 38 (I/2 448-449 Foerster); Sokrates, Historia this volume, and Günsenin, Harbours and Shipbuilding 417.
Ecclesiastica VI 15, 11 (337 Hansen). – Wade, Lock Up your Valuables 53-54. 71. 34 Another example for the interaction between harbours and urban life is given
73. 75. – Cheynet, Poids politique des marins. – Kolditz, Horizonte maritimer by ancient and Byzantine Syracuse (Castagnino Berlinghieri, Portualità di Sira-
Konnektivität 73 n. 75. – For traders in Antiquity cf. Feuser, Hafenstädte 284-286. cusa), where its centre, Ortygia, also from its peninsular shape is comparable
24 Patria Kon­stan­tinupoleos II 46/46a (174-175 Preger). – Cf. Parastaseis syntomoi to Constantinople.
chronikai § 40 (106-110 Cameron / Herrin). – Berger, Untersuchungen 315. – 35 Bauer, Stadt, Platz und Denkmal 148-268. – Müller-Wiener, Bildlexikon 255-
Anderson, Anemodoulion. – Kislinger, Lebensmittel 313-314. – Bauer, Stadt, 265. – Berger, Tauros e Sigma. – Barsanti, Il foro di Teodosio.
Platz und Denkmal 351-353. – Bread was sold in the Artopoleia area, not grain, 36 Detailed information goes beyond the current subject, see Mundell-Mango,
so Howard-Johnston, Commerce à Byzance 329 (with insufficient knowledge of Commercial Map 199-203. – Thomov / Ilieva, Shape of the Market. – Schreiner,
relevant literature). The Middle Byzantine grain trade took place at tou Amastri- Costantinopoli 108-111.

On Better and Worse Sites  |  Ewald Kislinger 11

(and VII?) were two macella 37. To the west, the Mese and its hot spots were always attractive in history for the rich and
extensions were connected to the long-distance overland powerful, who had the necessary means and prerequisites to
routes through the Balkans (which supplied merchandise live there. In the area south of the Mese where the ground
from the surrounding area) 38 and also allowed the connection slopes down to the Sea of Marmara, a specific Byzantine
of the Harbour of Theodosius to the urban infrastructure. In attraction was a wide and beautiful view 45. Corippus praised
its eastern part, the Mese led to the »government quarter« the palace of Julian II and Sophia above the Harbour of Ju-
with the Imperial Palace, Hagia Sophia and Hippodrome, all in lian, which was thus removed from its noise and odours:
close proximity and complementary in function. This is where »Welcome to the noble couple was the place where they
secular and religious power manifested itself physically and used to observe the surging of the sea and the curved ships
where it was staged ceremonially before, and also sometimes who brought all goods from the continents« 46. Justin and
with, the public 39. This quarter connected  – slightly out of his consort were not among the first at this site, who had
alignment to the south-west – to the Acropolis, with its tem- moved to this area and further increased its value; they also
ples, two theatres and the lusorium of ancient Byzantion 40, found followers 47.
hence represented continuity adapted to the new dimensions, In addition to the basic economic and sometimes military
rather than change. function of harbours, in Constantinople as elsewhere, it is
This southward shift of the centre from the Golden Horn also important to consider their representative ceremonial
to the Sea of Marmara resulted from the interaction with the role. This ranged from imperial landings and the reception of
function of the Mese as an economic focus and attraction state guests to the transfer of relics 48. Thanks to the contri-
(fig. 1). It is unlikely that the process was planned as compre- butions by Simeonov and Heher in this volume and elsewhere,
hensively as the results show. The authorities wanted only to a detailed analysis can be omitted here. A change can be
accomplish the structural growth of the city initially enforced observed in this area as well: the focus was relocated from
in the fourth to fifth centuries, using the newly developed the ancient Prosphorion / Strategion area to Hebdomon in
areas, not least for the new harbours of Propontis. Harbours Early Byzantine times, then to the Boukoleon Harbour, and
and granaries are essential utilitarian facilities in the larger in the Late Byzantine period, also the Golden Horn became a
concept of large-scale city planning, beginning with the The- preferred locus for all the above mentioned representational
odosian dynasty 41. The old residential areas on the slope of and trade-related tasks 49.
the Golden Horn (regions  V-VII und X) 42, including utilities Around 540, Byzantine Constantinople reached its highest
(such as market halls / macella 43 and water supply 44), were population of just under half a million people 50. Analogous
supposed to be preserved. Accordingly, as mentioned at the to the expansion of the empire (renovatio imperii romani,
beginning, a bipolarity existed (examples are the dispersion with expansions into the central Mediterraneum) a quick and
of macella) from the fourth to the sixth century, but it is ques- long-lasting steep decline happened, not only in a territorial,
tionable whether this was completely stable. but also a demographic sense. This had been caused primarily
Conveniently located, not overcrowded quarters of a large by constant war on all fronts (against Sasanids and then Ar-
city with good infrastructure, near the political and cultural abs in the east and southeast, Avars and Slavs in the Balkans,

37 Notitia urbis Con­stan­tinopolitanae 236, 17. – Mundell-Mango, Commercial fig. 1. – Crow, Ruling the Waters. – Sürmelihindi et al., Byzantine Water Man-
Map 193-194. – Kislinger, Lebensmittel 312-313. Leomakellon and Dimakellon agment. – Mango, Water Supply. – Berger, Regionen und Straßen 379-381.
(also mentioned in Kleinchronik 14, n. 1a, [Kleinchroniken 130 Schreiner]) and 45 Saliou, Traité d’urbanisme § 52-56 (72-75). – Saliou, Lois des bâtiments 238-
tou Makellou (at the Forum of Constantine: Sokrates, Historia Ecclesiastica I 246. – Velenis, Wohnviertel 229. – Dark, Eastern Harbours 157. – Grünbart,
38, 9 [89-90 Hansen]) and ta Makellou (the existence [?] of which is based only Inszenierung 74. 90-92.
on Manuscript D of the Vita Andreae Sali. ch. 2 [18 Rydén, app. crit.] and with 46 Flavius Cresconius Corippus, In laudem Iustini I 109-111. – Cf. I 101-103 (39
reference thereon Janin, Siège de Con­stan­tinople 29) must – contrary to Berger, Cameron). In general Libanius, Oratio XI 37 (I/2 448 Foerster). On the compa-
Untersuchungen 184 and 515 – be distinguished. rable later expansion of the imperial palace complex southward and the emer-
38 Kislinger, Verkehrswege und Versorgung (with further literature). – Külzer, Ost- gence of the Boukoleon part including harbour, see Heher, Boukoleonhafen
thrakien 192-202. 123-124.
39 For a short selection, I refer to Dagron, Déroulement des courses.  – Hippo- 47 Nikephoros Phokas the Elder and his son Bardas followed after Justin II in the
drom / Atmeydanı. – Bauer, Visualisierungen von Herrschaft. – Featherstone, Der position above the Harbour of Sophia (Leon Diakonos, Historia V 5 [83-84
Große Palast. – McCormick, Eternal Victory. – Majeska, Emperor in his Church. – Hase]. – Niketas Choniates, Historia 445). The Empress Eirene resided in the
On out-reaching productions, see Berger, Straßen und Plätze. Palace of Eleutherios (Vita Basilii Minoris III 36, 1), near the one of Arcadius
40 Berger, Regionen und Straßen 357-360. (Notitia urbis Con­stan­tinopolitanae 237, 7). – Mango, Développement 59. –
41 Magdalino, Renaissances 58-59. Magdalino, Maritime Neighborhoods 216.
42 Notitia urbis Con­stan­tinopolitanae 233-236. 237-238. English translation in 48 Heher / Simeonov, Ceremonies by the Sea 223-227. – On the image of the har-
Matthews, Notitia 89-91. 93-94. – Berger, Regionen und Straßen 377. 382- bour in literary comparison, see Chrysos, Limen. – In general: Bauer, Stadtver-
383. kehr in Konstantinopel; Berger, Straßen und Plätze. For parallels from antiquity
43 Notitia urbis Con­stan­tinopolitanae 234. – Kislinger, Lebensmittel 312-314. – Feuser, Hafenstädte 271-274.
Mundell Mango, Commercial Map 193-194. – Berger, Regionen und Straßen 49 Heher / Simeonov, Ceremonies by the Sea 227. 230-233. 235-236. – Vučetić,
385-386. – On the concept generally and its evolution, see De Ruyt, Macellum. – Repräsentative Aspekte von Häfen 135-140.  – Schreiner, Brautgedicht and
Cf. Lavan, Retail and Regulation 342-343. 346. 367 on such facilities elsewhere. Pseudo-Kodinos, Traité, chap. 12 (286-287 Verpeaux).
44 Hadrian’s water system supplied ancient Byzantion, that of Valens also encom- 50 Koder, Lebensraum 117-118. – Low estimate of 375 000 inhabitants before 541
passed the area around and south of the Mese and (by means of the Cistern given by Schreiner, Costantinopoli 81-83; higher estimate of 600 000 given by
of St Mocius) in the southwest of the city: Bono / Crow / Bayliss, Water Supply. – Durliat, Ville antique 232-275 n. 210. – Jacoby, Population.
Crow / Bardill / Bayliss, Water Supply, esp. 9-20. – Crow, Infrastructure 268-279

12 On Better and Worse Sites  |  Ewald Kislinger

Fig. 1  The harbours and economic
axes of Constantinople and their loca-
tions over time. – (Map E. Kislinger /
J. Preiser-Kapeller).

Lombards in Italy) 51 and widespread pestilence 52. When the ber could be reduced for this purpose, or, as already stated,
Justinian plague ebbed away after a massive eruption in 743- diversification of use became possible: the Neorion Harbour
750 53, which affected Constantinople in 747-748, the city on the Golden Horn thus passed to the navy for centuries to
probably reached its population low point. Although 40 000 come (see above).
inhabitants may be too pessimistic an estimate 54, even if dou- In the hinterland of the neighbouring Prosphorion Har-
ble that is estimated, the city would have lost more than 80 bour to the east, the Strategion – still one of the city’s great
per cent of its population level of 540. The fallout of this for squares in the fifth century 56 and a centre for the regions
the cityscape was, on the one hand, the contraction of set- of the lower Golden Horn – retained its function as a cattle
tlement, especially on the Mese axis (the better position was market for the time being 57. It was only under Constantine V
still preferred) and the transverse from the Harbour of Julian (reg. 741-775) that this was transferred to the Forum Tauri 58,
via Makros Embolos (»great shopping street«; now Uzunçarşı that is, at the time of the city’s population low point. The
Caddesi) to Perama 55. On the other hand, sparsely populated decisive factor was probably the question of local supply 59 of
and deserted areas created a spatial surplus that also had its the densely populated zone in the area of the Mese and to
advantages. As the harbours were no longer able to operate its south, which Constantine V focused on regarding the city
at full commercial capacity due to lower demand, their num- planning 60, which overrode the hygiene aspect.

51 Overviews offer pars pro toto: Whitby, Maurice. – Pohl, Avars. – Zanini, Italie by a smaller marketplace«. – Mundell Mango, Commercial Map 192. – West-
bizantine. – Kaegi, Early Islamic Conquests. – Stratos, Byzantium. – Eickhoff, brook, Forum of the Strategion 5-7. – Bauer, Stadt, Platz und Denkmal 224-
Seekrieg und Seepolitik 9-50. 228. – An arch or entranceway crowned with a Fortuna (Marcellinus comes,
52 Stathakopoulos, Famine and Pestilence. – Meier, Pest, and the chapters in Mei- ad annum 510 [35 Croke]. Mango, Développement 19 n. 32) was considered
er’s volume by W. Brandes (201-224) and K.-H. Leven (11-32). – Congourdeau, by the Patria Kon­stan­tinupoleos I 51 (141 Preger) to be the Arch of Urbicius
Pandémies. – Meier, »Justinianic Plague« rightly criticises a recent attempt to (opening to his nearby house, see n. 81) on the speculative Byzas Wall.
minimise the effects of this pandemic, but overemphasises the importance of 57 For a similar use of the lower Agora near the harbour in Ephesos, see Foss,
Meier, Pest. – On Con­stan­tinople, see Kislinger, Pane 279-293. Ephesus 63. 82 fig. 12.
53 Stathakopoulos, Famine and Pestilence 379-386. 58 Patria Kon­stan­tinupoleos III 149 (263-264 Preger). – Magdalino, Renaissances
54 Mango, Développement 53-54. 75; cf. even earlier Kislinger, Lebensmittel 314-315 and Kislinger, Von schlech-
55 Mundell Mango, Commercial Map 197 fig. 31. teren und besseren Lagen, in: Daim, Häfen 12.
56 Notitia urbis Con­stan­tinopolitanae 233, 11-12 speaks of Strategium, in quo 59 Nikephoros Patriarches, Breviarium ch. 85 (160 Mango) on the rich supply of
est forum Theodosiacum et obeliscus Thebaeus quadrus. English translation markets under Constantine V.
in Matthews, Notitia 90. – Parastaseis syntomoi chronikai, § 24 (84-86 Cam- 60 Magdalino, Con­stan­tine V, 10-11. – Cf. (2001). – Magdalino, Maritime Neigh-
eron / Herrin) differentiate a large and small Strategion. Mango, Triumphal Way borhoods 213 n. 28.
187: »It can be provisionally suggested, that we have here a civic forum flanked

On Better and Worse Sites  |  Ewald Kislinger 13

Since the water supply via the Valens Aqueduct to the tinople, such as Leomakellon near the coast at Basilike pyle
nymphaeum maius was disrupted in the course of the Avar (Unkapanıkapısı) 71 on the Golden Horn 72 (or rather more
siege of 626 61, the reservoirs 62 that this had fed could only precisely at the Heptaskalon 73) or around the site of the
be filled by rain water, but this was apparently sufficient given Strategion, were better suited for such purposes or also
the reduced population. Only as a result of the state-ordered trades with an associated fire risk, such as glass-blowing:
resettlements from various provinces in 755 63 did the situa- »However, if any necessity required it within the cities, the
tion threaten to become precarious in the event of prolonged hyalourgoi must operate in isolated locations away from the
drought. When that occurred in 766, Constantine  V had residential areas« 74. Such a workshop (ergasterion hyelopses­
the Valens Aqueduct repaired, for which he now had to tikon) on the steep street (Dikymbalos) to the Hagia Sophia
bring builders to Constantinople from the Pontus, Hellas, the obviously complied with the legal requirements; nevertheless,
islands and from Thrace 64. In distant Naples, the measure a fire broke out from it that raged to the Chalkoprateia
became the fairytale-like expulsion of a dragon from the Church 75. It was primarily for religious reasons that the Jew-
aqueduct, which had previously carried off many inhabitants ish community established a separate settlement. However,
with its exhalations (see n. 81 on the miasma concept). Lack in 1044 (?), or at least before 1082, they had to move from
of water due to blocked or interrupted supply lines, resulting the south bank of the Golden Horn to the northern one 76.
in a lack of hygiene, encouraged the spread of disease, espe- The evil odour emanating from the tanneries no doubt also
cially the plague outbreak of 747-748, and the intervention motivated the change 77. This, too, fits for the time before
of the emperor was according to this legend brought nearer the image of a predominantly commercial zone in the hin-
in time and combined with this 65. terland of the devalued and re-designated harbours on the
Trade in pigs at the Forum Tauri 66, to which the animals Golden Horn.
were driven up from the Harbour of Julian 67, and that with As a reason why it ever came to this image, the plague
horses (brought from Thrace?) at the Amastrianum 68 are was made responsible 78. The thousands of dead in the first
further indications of mercantile concentration in appreciated wave in 542 were taken to the Golden Horn, stacked on
and promoted residential areas. In contrast, the ambience the other bank at Sykai, buried in mass graves 79 or thrown
around the palace was supposed to be dominated by the into the sea 80. In other epidemics similar procedures may
fragrances of musk, frankincense and myrrh, products of have been used. The associated miasma of the area 81 is
the druggists from the Milion to the Chalke Gate 69. An Early implicitly linked to a renewed outbreak of the plague in 698
Byzantine slaughterhouse at the Forum of Constantine was when the Neorion Harbour was dredged 82. The causality can
probably relocated due to the unpleasant smells 70. also be modified. In the poor, overpopulated tenements of
Less noble districts, which had become more remote adjoining urban areas, the plague  – probably reaching the
due to the negative demographical growth of Constan- city by sea, with harbours being the typical gateway of a

61 Nikephoros Patriarches, Breviarium ch. 85 (160 Mango). 73 Vita der Theodosiae 131 (Gedeon). – On the Heptaskalon, see Preiser-Kapeller,
62 Crow / Bardill / Bayliss, Water Supply 20. Haptaskalon, in this volume.
63 Theophanes, Chronographia 429 (de Boor). The measure is certainly to be seen 74 Julianus Ascalonites § 11.1 (Saliou, traité d’urbanisme 40-41). – Hexabiblos II 4,
as a reaction to the loss of population caused by the plague outbreak of 747- 19 (117-118 Pitsakis). – Velenis, Wohnviertel 227.
748. 75 Invention des reliques et miracles de Ste Photine (BHG 1541 m), ch. 9 (122-123
64 Theophanes, Chronographia 440 (de Boor). – Magdalino, Water 132. – Mag- Halkin). – See Talbot, Photeine 101 n. 52. – Henderson / Mundell Mango, Glass
dalino, Renaissances 72-73. 75. – Perhaps the expulsion of various monastic 344-346. – Mundell Mango, Commercial Map 202-203, n. 119. – Mango, Tri-
communities from their monasteries and their re-dedication as barracks for new umphal Way 188, still locates some Ottoman workshops for glass production
elite units (Theophanes, Chronographia 437 [de Boor]). – Magdalino, Con­stan­ slightly northeast.
tine V, 3. 6. 12) was not solely ideologically motivated, but partly due to lack 76 Jacoby, Quartiers juifs 170-171. 181-183. – Jacoby, Jews 223-225.
of accommodation and construction workers, or perhaps due to earthquake 77 Benjamin de Tudela, Itinerarium 24 (Adler).
damage (Magdalino, Renaissances 74). – The reproach of the Emperor for sell- 78 Magdalino, Maritime Neighborhoods 217-219.
ing liturgical objects in order to finance the construction costs of houses, baths 79 Prokopios, Bella II 23, 9-11 (I 257 Haury / Wirth).
and theatres also points in this direction (proceedings of the Second Council 80 Ioannes Ephesius, Vitae sanctorum Orientalium 89 (Brooks).
of Nicaea 787: Mansi, Collectio XIII 333 A-B, see ACO series secunda, volume 81 Gen. Pseudo-Athanasius Alexandrinus, Quaestiones ad Antiochum, erot. 103
tertium, pars tertia 756, 9-11 (Lamberz / Dubielzig). (PG 28, 661 A-B). – Anastasios Sinaites, Questiones et responsiones, erot. 66
65 Gesta episcoporum Neapolitanorum 422-423 (Waitz). – Acconcia Longo, Agio- (118-119 Richard / Munitiz). – Aetius Amidenus, Libri medicinales V 95 (II 80-81
grafia e narrativa tra Oriente e Occidente 245-248. – On this plague wave, see Olivieri). – Paulos Aiginetes, Epitome iatrike II 34 (I 107-108 Heiberg). – The rel-
Stathakopoulos, Famine and Pestilence 384-385. evant sources quoted by Magdalino, Maritime Neighborhoods 218, n. 65 and
66 Book of the Eparch / Eparchenbuch 16.2 and 16.3 (124-126 Koder). – Book of 66 are in parts from outdated editions. – For further examples of the miasma
the Eparch / Eparchenbuch 15.5 (124 Koder) also testifies to trade in lambs from idea, see Acconcia Longo, Agiografia e narrativa tra Oriente e Occidente 247
Easter to Pentecost. n. 61.
67 Patria Kon­stan­tinupoleos II 46a (175 Preger). – Kislinger, Lebensmittel 313-314. 82 Theophanes, Chronographia 370 (de Boor).  – Berger, Häfen 80-81 follows
68 Book of the Eparch / Eparchenbuch 21.3 and 21.8 (136-138 Koder). Theo­phanes’ arguments and sees the cause of the plague wave of 698 in silt
69 Book of the Eparch / Eparchenbuch 10.1 (110 Koder). and waste, without a mention of Stathatkopoulos, Famine and Pestilence,
70 Sokrates, Historia Ecclesiastica I 38. 8-9 (89-90 Hansen). – Kislinger, Lebensmit- esp. 364-365. Considering the knowledge of transmission paths of the plague,
tel 314. the common opinion that waste was the real catalyst of the pandemic seems
71 On this equalisation earlier Schneider, Mauern und Tore 77. – Asutay-Effen- unlikely. However, this was rather based on the negative image of the urban
berger, Porta veteris rectoris 133. quarter since 542. See on this Magdalino, Constantinople 99; Magdalino, Mar-
72 Kislinger, Lebensmittel 316.  – Asutay-Effenberger / Effenberger, Eski Imaret itime Neighborhoods 218-219 and Kislinger, Von schlechteren und besseren
Camii 23-24. – Berger, Ufergegend 153. Lagen 12-13 in Daim, Häfen (German version [2016] of the present article).

14 On Better and Worse Sites  |  Ewald Kislinger

pandemic 83  – will have raged more fiercely than in richer financially weak, thus corresponding to the social image of
neighbourhoods with higher sanitary standards 84. It was log- the district, the diaconia tēs Theotokou en tō Neoriō was
ical in a catastrophic situation to bury the dead nearby. The in decline 94. An imperial prospect was found in the tenth
interests of the local survivors were of no great concern, their century with Romanos Lekapenos. However, it was originally
demographic and public weight shrank due to the epidemics, intended to demolish the existing buildings to make way for
the already second-rate area now became the slum of the the emperor’s palace. A vision of St Mary ordered a halt to the
city: »The Golden Horn took a long time to shake off its bad work; the bath was renewed and, as a metochion, attached
reputation …« 85. to a monastery 95. As a former commander of the navy 96, it
The first signs of change again became evident in the was not accidental that Romanos wanted to settle near the
tenth century 86. In the Book of the Eparch, the makelarioi are Neorion and evidence suggests that he succeeded 97: a palace
instructed to buy (and to slaughter) sheep until the beginning situated on a terrace above the Golden Horn could be that
of the pre-Easter Lent at the Strategion  – from which the of Romanos. It was later named after the families of Botanei-
bronze sculptural decoration had been taken away a few ates and Kalamanos, and passed to the Genoese in 1192 98.
decades earlier 87. Only the trade with lambs remained at the Regarding the development of ownership and the locality, it
Forum Tauri from Easter to Pentecost 88. In a high-turnover would then be a parallel to the residence of Justin II at the
period, the market was left close to the customer, whereas Harbour of Julian / Sophia.
otherwise it was removed from the centre again. The measure The Monastery of Manuel was financially supported by
was taken for hygienic reasons, and is likely to be connected Romanos I. It had three skalai below »his« palace 99 and was
with the noticeable increase in population as the Empire be- not the only monastery that had possessions along the banks
gan to tackle the last wave of Arab attacks at sea and soon of the lower Golden Horn. Almost all of them, as Magdalino
asserted itself against the Bulgarians 89. It is significant from could prove 100, emerged in the tenth and eleventh centuries,
the supply logistics point of view that in 960, when prepa- and received their endowment and validation in this time.
rations for the then successful landing on Crete were made, There was still sufficient space available in the expanding
additional grain needed for this purpose was to be bought Constantinople, not least in the area between the Phos-
in from the east and west 90. About eighty years later, already phorion Harbour and the ferry to Perama. For a long time a
the mere supply for the metropolitan population, which had problem area of the city, this stretch of shore and the inland
to be secured in the face of a shortage, necessitated a similar areas were revitalised. Michael VI (reg. 1056-1057) even went
course of action 91. to renew the overgrown Strategion, a logical step »in a part
Demographic growth was also manifested in urban de- of the city that was returning to importance«, which earned
velopment, and areas that were lying fallow for much of him ignorant mockery 101. The ambience of the Golden Horn
the time gained in interest. After Urbicius, author of a tak­ did not count as one of the city’s best areas.
tikon under Anastasios (reg. 491-518), whose house lay in Exceptions such as the palace of Despot Constantine An-
the Strategion (after 548 it became a Syrian monastery 92), gelos or the house of Sebastocrator Isaac Comnenos (later
we encounter with Antonios, a prominent resident near the the Monastery of Christos Euergetes) 102 prove the rule for
Neorion wharf 93. Antonios was Patrikios in the time of Mi- the time being. These were also located on the coast north-
chael III (reg. 842-867) and owned an elegant house in the west of Perama, in the upper part of the Golden Horn, which
old harbour district, the private bath of which he opened would then experience a sustained appreciation with the be-
for charitable purposes. The group of believers (presumably ginning of the Comnenian period. The new dynasty raised the
a brotherhood), which continued this work, however, was Blachernae quarter as the new seat of imperial power. This

83 Stathakopoulos, Famine and Pestilence 31. 137-138. – Kislinger / Stathakopou-   94 Magdalino, Con­stan­tinople 34. 106. – Generally on this subject see Magdal-
los, Pest und Perserkriege 85-93. – McCormick, Bateaux de vie, bateaux de ino, Church, Bath and Diakonia. Repeated in Magdalino, Water 134-135.
mort. – Bergdolt, Der Schwarze Tod 35-41.   95 Synaxarium Ecclesiae Con­stan­tinopolitanae 937-938 (Delehaye).
84 Conrad, Pest. – Dark, Houses 87-89. – Westbrook, Forum of the Strategion 24.   96 PmbZ II no. 26833.
85 Magdalino, Con­stan­tinople 99.   97 See the convincing arguments by Magdalino, Con­stan­tinople 94.
86 Book of the Eparch / Eparchenbuch 15.1 and 15.5 (122-124 Koder).   98 Cupane, Traumpaläste 411-426.  – Grünbart, Inszenierung 74-75.  – Dark,
87 Patria Kon­stan­tinupoleos II 61 and III 24 (184. 221 Preger). – Bauer, Stadt, Platz Eastern Harbours 57 (terrace at the Cemal Nadir sokak). – Berger, Ufergegend
und Denkmal 227-228. – Bassett, Urban Image 242-244. – Magdalino, Water 162 (western slope of the Acropolis).
137-138.   99 Theophanes Continuatus, Chronographia 432-433 (Bekker).  – Magdal-
88 Book of the Eparch / Eparchenbuch 15.1 und 15.5 (122. 124 Koder). – Mundell ino, Con­stan­tinople 91-92 n. 208. – Hesitant but ultimately similar Berger,
Mango, Commercial Map 199-200. Ufergegend 162.
89 Tougher, Leo VI 164-193. – Eickhoff, Seekrieg und Seepolitik 258-261. – Ste- 100 Magdalino, Con­stan­tinople 92-93.
phenson, Balkan Frontier 18-23. – Kislinger, Verkehrsrouten 164-165. 101 Ioannes Skylitzes, Synopsis 482 (Thurn). – Magdalino, Con­stan­tinople 57-58.
90 Theophanes Continuatus, Chronographia 479 (Bekker). The presence of sieve makers at the end of the 12th c. on the site indicates
91 Ioannes Skylitzes, Synopsis 400 (Thurn). that the Strategion had not really risen: Ioannes Nomikopulos, Ekphrasis 296
92 Patria Kon­stan­tinupoleos III 22 (220 Preger). – Ioannes Ephesius, Vitae sancto- (Karpozelos).
rum Orientalium 683 (Brooks). – PLRE II 1190. – Janin, Con­stan­tinople 400. – 102 Magdalino, Con­stan­tinople 89-90 n. 198, 80. – Asutay-Effenberger, Kynegion
Berger, Untersuchungen 404-405. District, in this volume rejects the common identification of the Monastery of
93 Synaxarium Ecclesiae Con­stan­tinopolitanae 935-936 (Delehaye).  – PmbZ I Christ the Benefactor with Gül Camii.
no. 558.

On Better and Worse Sites  |  Ewald Kislinger 15

focus formation starts in parallel with another change (which, An Italian preference for the Golden Horn cannot be deduced
however, happened separately despite a relative proximity), from this, Genoa orientated itself only on the current market
which has a primary interest from the perspective of those situation in the literal and figurative sense.
interested in the harbours: the emergence of western com- Similarly, the Arab proximity to Perama 108, arranged some
mercial settlements further southeast of the Golden Horn. 70 years before, will have prompted Venice to accept the
It is assumed that the relevant contracts and political back- granted assignment of land on the Golden Horn – and thus
ground are known and do not need to be discussed here 103. away from the prosperous Mese and the Propontis harbours.
The essential question is why the choice fell on the Golden But Muslim trade partners had been placed there by the
Horn and not the economic centre with the Mese and the Byzantine state authority, so they were still doing better than
Propontis harbours. the merchants of the Rhus, who had to move to quarters in
»There can be no doubt, that the establishment of the Hagios Mamas on the Bosphorus 109. Political considerations,
Italians increased the commercial importance of the Golden based on the strength and importance of the powers behind
Horn. But would the Italians have asked for concessions in the merchants, will have influenced the allocations 110. Venice
this area if it had not been fairly important already to their was certainly favoured from the Byzantine point of view, since
business interests?« 104. Indeed, positive arguments could be the location of its settlement provided direct access to the
provided, such as the proximity to branches of other eco- shops and stores markets via the Makros Embolos.
nomic operators, mainly Arab traders in Perama or at the end Secrecy around the Byzantine naval base (see above p. 11)
of the Makros Embolos. Besides familiarity of the Venetians was no longer a problem, the inexorable silting up of the
(and those from Amalfi) with the Neorion Harbour and the Neorion Harbour in the tenth century had possibly led to the
wharf area – first at Neorion, then in Sykai – as sailors in im- relocation of the arsenal to Sykai; in any case, the fleet was
perial service 105. Nevertheless, this approach, even the overall practically non-existent by the reign of Alexios I 111. Its relative
concept, over-estimates in a central element the political re-emergence in the twelfth century took place mainly in
creative force of the participants from the West. It was the Sykai with Latins (from the settlements) providing a welcome
Byzantine state, which, albeit facing hostile pressure at the reserve of personnel 112. Finally, it operated – as the fire attack
beginning of the Comnenian period, issued trade agreements in 1203/1204 suggests – from the north-west bank (possibly
and concessions. These were formally expressed in the gra- the Blachernae quarter) of the Golden Horn 113.
cious granting of a privilege. Before doing so, concrete inter- Even with the population growth in the tenth century, it
ests of the empire were taken into account or even preceded. generally remained the case that the former backyard of the
The recipients, first Venice and then Pisa (1112), were at best city, profiting from this growth anyway, was always suffi-
able to express their wishes, that is all they could, and there cient for foreigners. On the occasion of the violent explosion
was no question of free choice on their part 106. The threefold of 1182 against Western traders and other residents in the
Genoese proposal of 1155 (settlement west of the Venetians settlements 114, especially the Venetians, Eusthatios of Thes-
was preferred, second choice was the Prosphorion district, salonica openly spoke (certainly with a polemical undertone)
otherwise beyond the city in Sykai / Pera 107) shows the still of the Latin race, which had its separate place on the bank
narrow limits of foreign influence on the choice of location. of the Horn of Byzantium, coinciding with ancient custom 115.

103 A brief selection includes Lilie, Handel und Politik. – Pacta veneta 992-1198. – 109 Hellmann, Handelsverträge zwischen Kiev und Byzanz. – Shepard, Con­stan­
Pacta veneta 1265-1285.  – Nicol, Byzantium and Venice.  – Banti, Amalfi, tinople – Gateway to the North. – Kislinger, Reisen 368-369 with n. 165.
Genova, Pisa e Venezia. – Balard, Romanie génoise. – Origone, Bisanzio e 110 Significant is the award of skalai in the flourishing middle section of the
Genova. – Balard, Amalfi et Byzance. – Skinner, Medieval Amalfi. – Italiens à Golden Horn to Germans and French (Jacoby, Venetian Quarter 158-159;
Byzance. – Jacoby, Venetian Quarter. – Maltézou, Quartiere veneziano. Magdalino, Con­stan­tinople 89), that is (nationals from) states that played an
104 Magdalino, Maritime Neighborhoods 219. important role in Manuel’s foreign policy (Magdalino, Empire 41-43. 46-53.
105 Magdalino, Maritime Neighborhoods 220. – Magdalino, Con­stan­tinople 95. 59-66).
98-99. – On Sykai, see Müller-Wiener, Häfen 12-13. 111 In the time of Romanos Lekapenos, the arsenal was no longer explicitly as-
106 In contrast to Magdalino, Maritime Neighborhoods 220. sociated with the Neorion (Theophanes Continuatus, Chronographia 391
107 Sanguineti / Bertolotto, Documenti 346.  – Magdalino, Maritime Neighbor- [Bekker]). In a note in the Patria Kon­stan­tinupoleos II 88 (196 Preger), the
hoods 221-222. harbour itself is called limne (stagnant water, bog). – In the 13th c., Georgios
108 Reinert, Muslim presence in Con­stan­tinople. Against Reinert and with Magda- Pachymeres V 10 (II 469 Failler) calls the Neorion arsenal really old (palaia
lino, Con­stan­tinople 98, I am of the opinion that the mosque grew out of an exartysis). – On the decline of the navy, cf. Kislinger, Ruhm 43-52.
earlier merchants’ accommodation near the Makros Embolos (mitaton: Book 112 Lilie, Handel und Politik 614-619. 624-625. 630-633. – Ahrweiler, Byzance et
of the Eparch / Eparchenbuch 5.2 [Koder]). – Pontani, Note 302-304 seeks to la mer 282-283. 295. 431-433. – Müller-Wiener, Häfen 12-13.
derive an equation between synagogion (recte mosque) and mitaton from 113 On 1203/1204 Devastatio Con­stan­tinopolitana 90-91 (Hopf). – On the pos-
Niketas Choniates, Historia 553, 91-95 (van Dieten). The source merely states sible base at the Monastery of Christos Euergetes, see Georgios Pachymeres,
that the entire area was referred to (in demodes dialektos) as mitaton, which Relationes historicae V 10 (II 469 Failler). – Müller-Wiener, Häfen 8-9. 24. – Cf.
reflects the far longer existence of the merchants’ accommodation compared Asutay-Effenberger, Kynegion District, in this volume.
to the more recent mosque.  – Cf. Di Branco, Ismailiti a Bisanzio 119-120, 114 Brand, Byzantium 40-43.
who loc. cit. also proves that Pontani has overlooked another Niketas pas- 115 Eustathios Thessalonikes, Expugnatio 34 (Kyriakidis). – See Jacoby, Quartiers
sage (Historia 525, 19-20 [van Dieten]), in which synagogion clearly refers to juifs 181-182. – Magdalino, Con­stan­tinople 99: »Before they were privileged
a mosque. – Turchetto, Mitaton 269-270. 283 follows Pontani de facto, in foreigners, they were just foreigners, and the Golden Horn was their rightful
wanting to situate the mitaton (correctly) within the sea walls (272), but at the place«; Rapp, Constantinople and its foreigners 101: »merchants or diplo-
same time putting it slightly southeast of the Church of St Eirene of Perama mats, were not normally made to feel ›at home‹, but constantly were re-
(271 fig. 2) without any evidence for this. – Cf. Jacoby, Venetian Quarter 159. minded of their status as outsiders and guests.

16 On Better and Worse Sites  |  Ewald Kislinger

The new arrivals knew better how to use their oppor- cial Latin empire 124 was too weak (also financially), to remedy
tunities than their hosts could have imagined. Although the resulting damage in its urban area of responsibility to
entering the Golden Horn required making a sweeping arc some extent. Its hinterland, which had previously supplied
past Chalcedon due to the Bosphorus’ current, the Golden demand 125, noticeably diminished. In addition, the court and
Horn was itself an enormous natural harbour 116, where large the upper classes were now lacking as wealthy consumers. In
numbers of ships found anchorage that was easily accessible modern terms, the economy collapsed massively.
from the shore. Cargo could then be unloaded and loaded Now masters of over three-eighths of the city, the Vene-
at the various skalai (landing stages parallel to the shore tians alone remained a significant economic force126. Because
and, presumably, landing stages extending into the water) 117. the trade network of the Italian maritime powers – actively
The traditional harbour concept was thereby modified and expanding into the Black Sea region after 1240 127 – stabilised
enlarged. Analogous to the Mese at the harbours of Pro- the entire Rhomania area, Constantinople was able to main-
pontis, the emboloi here also formed the backbone of the tain its function as a hub and market, even after the Byzan-
economic axis 118. tine reconquista of 1261, naturally adapting to the reduced
The various commercial settlements grew 119, encouraged internal needs of the city. The total turnover of Byzantine
by the diminishing power of the Byzantines towards 1204 merchants, at best as a junior partner 128, and large parts of
to oppose the increasingly demanding wishes of the Italian the retail trade 129 took place in the western settlements and
maritime powers. It was earlier noted for the period from the their neighbourhoods. However, the Mese axis had lost its
late fourth century to sixth / early seventh century (see above commercial importance 130. Of the Propontis harbours, that
pp. 9-10) that there was a parallel existence of two economic of Theodosius was now almost completely silted up 131, the
centres and harbour zones in one city. This is now repeated Kontoskalion 132 (formerly the Harbour of Sophia) was used by
from the end of the eleventh century to the Fourth Crusade the imperial navy, or what was left of it 133. On two occasions,
(1203/1204) with the Mese and Propontis harbours, and at the harbour areas of Constantinople once again rose in im-
the same time, the riparian zone including land clusters from portance, for naval construction in 1348/1349 134 and during
Prosphorion to Perama. Constantinople was able to cope the final siege of the city in 1453 135. The maritime events
with this once more and even needed it, because of its again were each focused on the Golden Horn; it was, as ancient
considerably increased population 120. Byzantion had already recognised, the more important and
Again, this mercantile concentration would not be per- better location.
manent. A drastic sequence of events led to the elimination
of an axis (fig. 1) and once again, a significant decline in Postscript: In the context of the video conference »Columns
population affected sustainability for centuries. The political of Constantinople«, organised by the Department of Byzan-
background – in the sixth to seventh centuries it had been tine Archaeology at the University of Freiburg (Germany) on
constant wars and substantial territorial losses – now formed, 13 November 2020, Dr Jesko Fildhuth spoke on »Landmarks
more seriously, the destruction of the empire in the wake of or Sea marks? Seeing the Columns of Constantinople«. The
the conquest of Constantinople in 1204 121. The directly con- author of the above contribution agrees with Fildhuth that
tributory factor of the plague of 542 corresponded to the fires the towering columns at the Forums of Constantine, Theo-
of 1203/1204 122, added to this was damage from the rioting dosius and Arkadios could have served for the orientation of
of the local mob and looting by the conquerors 123. The artifi- incoming ships. However, I do not see this as the original or

116 Prokopios, De aedificiis I 5, 13 (IV 29 Haury / Wirth). See Kislinger, Golden 126 Jacoby, Economy of Latin Con­stan­tinople. – Jacoby, Venetian Government.
Horn, in this volume. 127 Jacoby, Economy of Latin Con­stan­tinople 209-213.
117 Michael Attaleiates, Historia 199 (Pérez-Martin). Earlier owners were, among 128 Oikonomides, Hommes d’affaires. – Laiou-Thomadakis, Mediterranean Trade
others, monasteries (see above for that of Manuel) or charitable institutions System. – Jacoby, Mediterranean Food and Wine. – Kislinger, Gewerbe.
(such as the Xenon of Isaac II Angelos by the Church of the Forty Martyrs 129 Berger, Ufergegend 154-155. – Kislinger, Lebensmittel 316-318 n. 97 and
Niketas Choniates, Historia 445 [van Dieten]. – Acta et diplomata graeca III 99. – Mundell Mango, Commercial Map 205-206.
16). The proceeds of the skalai (Antoniadis-Bibicou, Douanes 134-135) helped 130 Concerning »commercial buildings« in this area, we know of only two baker-
to meet their expenses. ies in the »Old Forum« (that of Constantine) and wine taverns in the harbour
118 Jacoby, Houses and Urban Layout 271-274. – Magdalino, Maritime Neighbor- area: Kidonopoulos, Bauten 203-204. 211-212. – Kislinger, Lebensmittel 310
hoods 223-224. n. 47.
119 Jacoby, Venetian Quarter 156-159.  – Lilie, Handel und Politik 79-81. 101- 131 Berger, Langa Bostani 471-472.
102. – Balard, Romanie génoise I 109-112. 179-182. 132 Makris, Studien 176-184. 288-290.  – Müller-Wiener, Häfen 26-28.  – Cf.
120 Magdalino, Con­stan­tinople 61-65 n. 28. 45-46. – Schreiner, Costantinopoli Heher, Harbour of Julian, in this volume.
83 estimates 400 000 inhabitants. 133 Ahrweiler, Byzance et la mer 375-378. 433. – Georgios Pachymeres, Rela-
121 Queller / Madden, Fourth Crusade. – Carile, Partitio terrarum imperii. tiones historicae V 10 (II 469 Failler) notes bitterly that the Golden Horn must
122 Niketas Choniates, Historia 553-554 (van Dieten). – Geoffrey de Villehardouin, now be shared with the ships of the enemies.
Conquête I § 203. – Madden, Fires. 134 See Preiser-Kapeller, Haptaskalon, in this volume. – Nicol, Last Centuries 228-
123 Niketas Choniates, Historia 553-555. 558-559. 570. 647-655 (van Dieten). 233. – Nicol, Reluctant Emperor 96-99.
124 Van Tricht, Latin renovatio.  – Carile, Storia dell’ impero Latino.  – Jacoby, 135 Runciman, Fall of Con­stan­tinople 100-111. – Pertusi, Caduta di Costantino­
Urban Evolution. poli.
125 The lament of Michael Choniates, Epistulae 50, 10 (69-70 Kolovou) from
­Athens, that all goods flow to Constantinople and therefore lack in the prov-
ince, aptly characterises the situation before 1204.

On Better and Worse Sites  |  Ewald Kislinger 17

primary purpose for their construction. This is, for that mat- along the Mese axis undoubtedly underlines their significance
ter, partly impossible due to the time difference in building for the growing importance of the harbours on the Propontis
forums and harbours (Column of Constantine, Harbour of at that time. (I would like to thank my colleague Fildhuth for
Julian). However, the positioning of the forums and columns making his lecture manuscript available to me.)

Summary / Zusammenfassung

On Better and Worse Sites: The Changing Importance Von schlechteren und besseren Lagen. Häfen zu Kon­
of the Harbours of Constantinople stan­tinopel im Wandel ihrer Bedeutung
Alternating phases of growth and demographic decline in Die abwechselnden Phasen von Wachstum und demographi-
Constantinople led to the displacement of the central traffic scher Schrumpfung resultierten zu Kon­stan­tinopel in einer
axes and their associated harbours on two occasions. An- zweimaligen Verlagerung der zentralen Verkehrsachse und
cient Byzantion was orientated towards the Golden Horn, der zugehörigen Häfen. Das antike Byzantion war auf das
where its two harbours of Neorion and Prosphorion were Goldene Horn hin orientiert, dort lagen seine beiden Häfen,
located. When Constantinople became the imperial capital Neorion und Prosphorion. Als Kon­stan­tinopel nach 330 zur
after 330, the population increased and the urban area was Reichshauptstadt avancierte, wuchs daraufhin die Bevölke-
extended, with new harbours, named after Julian and Theo- rung, das Stadtareal wurde erweitert, neue Häfen, benannt
dosius, established on the southern shore facing the Sea of nach Julian und Theodosios, entstanden an der Südküste
Marmara. With the Mese, the main street as the spine run- am Marmarameer. Mit der Mese, der in Ost-West-Richtung
ning  ­east-west, an additional traffic axis was created. As the verlaufenden Hauptstraße als Rückgrat war somit eine zu-
population decreased after the sixth / seventh century, partly sätzliche Verkehrsachse entstanden. Sie allein verblieb, als
as a result of plague outbreaks, the Mese alone remained. die Bevölkerung, unter anderem durch die Pestwellen be-
The Golden Horn was now off-centre and became the base dingt, vom 6./7. Jahrhundert an schrumpfte; das jetzt im
for the imperial navy. It was only the revival from the tenth Abseits liegende Goldene Horn wurde zum Stützpunkt der
century onwards, which also saw the return of mercantile kaiserlichen Marine. Erst der neuerliche Aufschwung ab dem
activity to the area. The commercial settlements, which Byz- 10. Jahrhundert brachte auch merkantile Aktivitäten dort-
antium had to cede to the Italian maritime powers, were hin zurück. Die Handelsniederlassungen, welche Byzanz den
granted to them on the Golden Horn, apparently in the false italischen Seemächten einzuräumen hatte, wurden ihnen
assumption of keeping them well away from the commercial am Goldenen Horn zugewiesen, offenbar in der falschen
centre. The opposite occurred, the entire coastal strip at the Annahme, sie derart abseits des kommerziellen Zentrums
mouth of the sea gained in importance: by the twelfth cen- zu halten. Das Gegenteil trat ein, die ganze Ufergegend am
tury, it was of equal rank and after 1204 became the new Meeresarm gewann an Bedeutung, wurde schon im 12. Jahr-
centre of Constantinople's maritime economy. hundert gleichrangig und nach 1204 wiederum zum neuen
wirtschaftlich-maritimen Zentrum Kon­stan­tinopels.

18 On Better and Worse Sites  |  Ewald Kislinger

Arne Effenberger

Constantinople / İstanbul:
The Early Pictorial Sources

The illustrations included in the individual chapters on the PRESBITER HVNC MISIT CARDINALI IORDANO DE VRSINIS
harbours have a varying degree of testimonial value, both in MCCCCXX (»The Presbyter Cristoforus Bondelmont from
terms of the state of the city of Constantinople / İstanbul and Florence sent this to Cardinal Jordanus Ursinus in 1420«) 5.
in terms of the representation of the harbours and landing Where he wrote the work, however, does not emerge from
places. This applies especially to the early city views from the the acrostic. The sixty-seventh letter D of DE VRSINIS intro-
fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Therefore, in the following, duces the chapter on Constantinople: Devenio ad Lesam,
individual vedute will be considered more closely with regard nunc Constantinopolim urbem .... Buondelmonti concludes
to their time of origin and their possible sources. the epilogue (chapter 82) with two remarks: that he had al-
ready sent the cardinal an initial version on the Cyclades, and
that now, after more careful investigations, he wanted to give
Cristoforo Buondelmonti him a second, more elaborate version (secundam copiosiorem
etiam tibi desculptionem uoli destinar) 6. That this copy con-
The view of Constantinople connected with the name of Cris- tained the 79 images of the islands and cities can be found
toforo Buondelmonti ranks first. It is preserved in numerous in chapter 2 of the prologue: »To capture everything even
copies of the Liber insularum Archipelagi (hereinafter referred better: the mountains are represented in black, the plains in
to as LIA) (fig. 1). Cristoforo Buondelmonti (c. 1380/1385 to white and the waters in green« 7. There was no doubt that in
around 1431) travelled extensively through the islands of the the pictures of the islands and cities the places mentioned in
archipelago, visiting the Ionian west coast, Constantinople the text were also indicated and provided with inscriptions 8.
and Mount Athos since the year 1414 1. He collected the re- Buondelmonti must, therefore, have been in Constantinople
sults of his geographical and archaeological research in two for the first time before 1420 and had ample opportunity to
works: the Descriptio insulae Cretae (hereinafter referred to explore the city and make a detailed vedute.
as DIC) and the LIA. In 1417, he dedicated a first version of The first copies of Buondelmonti‘s works were already
the DIC to his mentor Niccoli Niccolò, as the acrostic in the produced during his lifetime; the majority of the copies date
chapter beginnings shows 2. He sent a new version of the from the second half of the fifteenth century. Hitherto, the
LIA to his patron Cardinal Giordano Orsini († 1438) in 1420 3. impressive number of more than 70 manuscript copies of
Again, he used an acrostic indicating the cardinal as described the LIA has been validated, including those in Greek, Italian
in the prologue: In quibus dum rubeas ennumerabis ipsarum and English translation 9. Several manuscripts are dated by
litteras, nomen meique tui et quo in locoque tempore pre- copyist entries or can be narrowed down to a time frame by
feceram opus manifestabis (»If you follow the red initial let- the names of their owners, by watermarks in the paper, occa-
ters of the chapters subsequently, you will be able to find sionally by textual or internal indications, which at the same
the letters of my and your name as well as where and when time demonstrate the rapid spread of the LIA in Europe (Italy,
I wrote my work«) 4. The first letters of the 82 chapters make France, Flanders and England) 10. However, the textual tradi-
up the words: CRISTOFORVS BONDELMONT DE FLORENCIA tion of the LIA is complicated, since in addition to the long

1 On the person, see Weiss, Buondelmonti.  – For Buondelmonti’s work, see   5 Barsanti, Costantinopoli 85 n. 7. – Ragone, Buondelmonti 195.
Barsanti, Costantinopoli.  – Vagnon, Cartographie 273-304.  – Chatzidakis,   6 Bayer, Transkription 59 § 82.
Ciriaco d’Ancona 41-48.   7 Bayer, Transkription 8 § 2 (15).
2 Barsanti, Costantinopoli 83. 102. 111-127. – Ragone, Buondelmonti 193-194   8 A list of the cardinal’s surviving books, published in 1786, lists a Liber insula-
and n. 51. rum egei pelagi and a Liber insularum archipelagi et figuratus, see Effenberger,
3 This is probably the long version A, which has survived at least in three Illustrationen 14 n. 28 and 20 (evidence).
manuscripts: 1: Milan, Biblioteca Ambrosiana, Ms. A.219 inf.: Gerola, Vedute   9 List of 60 copies: Luttrell, Halikarnassos 193-194. – Ragone, Buondelmonti 202-
270-279 (Constantinople chapter). – 2: Ravenna, Biblioteca Civica Classense, Ms. 203 meanwhile assumes »circa settantacinque« copies.
Lat. 308: Gerola, Vedute 270-279 (Constantinople chapter).  – 3: Greenwich, 10 On dated and datable copies of the LIA and on previous owners, see Barsanti,
National Maritime Museum, Ms. p. 20.  – See Barsanti, Costantinopoli 160.  – Costantinopoli 86-91. – Ragone, Buondelmonti 181 n. 12.
Ragone, Buondelmonti 195. 200.
4 See Bayer, Transkription 8 § 2 (14). – See Effenberger, Illustrationen, pl. 1. Here
ends the year number MCCCCXX or possibly MCCCCCC. On the possible
solutions of the chapters 81 and 82 beginning with X, see Ragone, Buondelmonti
199 n. 70.

In: Falko Daim  ·  Ewald Kislinger (eds), The Byzantine Harbours of Constantinople. Byzanz zwischen Orient und Okzident 24 (Mainz 2021).
DOI: Constantinople / İstanbul: The Early Pictorial Sources  |  Arne Effenberger 19
Fig. 1  View of Constantinople and Pera, Cristoforo Buondelmonti, Liber insularum archipelagi. – (Venice, Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, MS. Lat. XIV.45 (= 4595), fol. 123r).

20 Constantinople / İstanbul: The Early Pictorial Sources  |  Arne Effenberger

version A, an abbreviated version B (the majority of surviving (r. 1389-1425). His daughter Anna  – Witold‘s granddaugh-
copies) and a short version C can be distinguished 11. The ter  – probably came as an infant bride to Constantinople
only printed edition of Gabriel R. L. de Sinner (1824), which in 1411 and was married to the future Byzantine Emperor
belongs to version B, was compiled from three manuscripts in John  VIII Palaiologos (r. 1425-1448) in 1414. The Russian
Paris (Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS. Lat. 4823, 4824 deacon Zosima had been part of the bridal legation and in
and 4825) 12. The text of the Düsseldorf manuscript, which 1419/1420 and 1421/1422 again visited Constantinople. He
also follows version B, is available in a transcribed, translated also visited the Princess’s grave at Lips Monastery; she had
and annotated edition 13. died of the plague in 1417 19.
An unresolved problem is the acrostic’s deviation of the However, the date of composition of the large-sized view
date in the incipit that is found in both version A and in of Constantinople that was sent to Witold is difficult to de-
copies of version B: Incipit Liber insularum archipelagi editus termine. How and by which intermediary Buondelmonti was
per presbyterum Christophorum de Bondelmontibus de Flor- commissioned to produce the membrana maxima, remains a
entia, quem misit de civitate Rhodi Romam Domino Jordano mystery despite many efforts to illuminate the historical con-
Cardinali de Ursinis anno Domini MCCCCXXII (»Book about text 20. It would seem logical that Buondelmonti first explored
the islands of the archipelago written by the presbyter Chris- the city and its surroundings with official permission before
tophorus Bondelmonti from Florence, which he sent from the producing the membrana maxima and only afterwards cre-
city of Rhodes to Rome to Cardinal Jordanus Ursinus in the ated the standard vedute added to the LIA, the secunda co-
year of the Lord 1422«) 14. A manuscript in the Vatican, made piosior of 1420. Thus, the membrana maxima would already
between 1422 and 1435 on Rhodes by Onofrio da Penna, have been produced during his first stay in Constantinople
secretary of King Ladislao d’Angiò-Durazzo (1386-1414) and (before 1420). In any case, it can be assumed that the dis-
Queen Giovanna II of Naples (1414-1435), contains the short semination of the Constantinople veduta, which began soon
version C of the LIA (without the view of Constantinople), as after 1420, can only have been stimulated by one or more
well as a new elaboration of the DIC, with Buondelmonti‘s early copies of Buondelmonti‘s own hand.
colophon on fol. 50v 15: Scripsi hunc librum figuramque insule The Constantinople veduta is preserved in numerous cop-
in urbe Constantinopoli, die .xviij°. mensis Ianuarii .m°cccc°. ies of the LIA, but the individual reproductions are of different
xxij°. (»This book and the depiction of the island [Crete], quality. A systematic »Kopienkritik« (copy criticism) on the
I completed in the city of Constantinople on 18 January basis of all surviving versions is still pending 21. Although the
1422«). This entry testifies to Buondelmonti’s second stay Buondelmonti-type vedute have a largely consistent standard
in Constantinople at the end of 1421 or the beginning of of buildings and monuments, there are divergences with
1422 16. The following insertion is found in the Constantinople respect to those mentioned and illustrated in the three LIA
chapter of Chigianus (see n. 15) and another manuscript copy versions 22. In any case, all copies made after 1453 are pre-
of version C made before 1453 17: ideo quam brevius potui dominantly anachronistic. Monuments that no longer existed
hic de ruynis eius scripsi, licet in membrana maxima Bittoldo before or after 1453, yet were still reproduced, include the
ducis Russie miserim, ad videndum suis omnibus extra atque Church of Blachernae (burnt down in 1434), the equestrian
infra attinentiis (»therefore, I want to write here only briefly statue on the Column of Justinian, the cross on the Column
of their remnants, especially since I have sent a large sheet to of Constantine and the the kneeling emperor on the columna
Witold, Duke of Russia, to show what all is contained outside virginea, the Column of Michael VIII Palaiologos 23. Most of
and within [the city]«). Witold (Biteldos, Vitovt, Vytautas), the churches inscribed with their names were either no longer
Grand Duke of Lithuania (r. 1392-1430) 18, was the father- extant (e. g., the Church of the Holy Apostles demolished
in-law of the Muscovite Grand Prince Vasily  I Dmitriyevich in 1462) or converted into mosques, but on many copies

11 Barsanti, Costantinopoli 160-164. – Ragone, Buondelmonti 193 n. 50 (list of 17 Venice, Biblioteca Marciana, Ms. Lat. X.215 (= coll. 3773), fol. 44r (previously
the surviving manuscripts of version C). owned by Francesco Barbaro, 1390-1454). The Constantinople chapter printed
12 Sinner, Buondelmonti. – See Garand, Tradition 69-76. – Buondelmonti’s LIA in in Gerola, Vedute 270-279. – See Barsanti, Costantinopoli 168-169. – Ragone,
Greek translation in the manuscript İstanbul, Topkapı Sarayı Kütüphanesi, Ms. Buondelmonti 205-208.
Seragliensis Graecus 24. 18 PLP 2 (1977) 68 no. 2708. – Mickūnaitė, Making a Great Ruler.
13 Beyer, Transkription 50-53. 19 Majeska, Russian Travelers 170. 188-189. 309. 311-312 § 34. – On Anna see
14 On this unsolved contradiction, see Barsanti, Costantinopoli 161. – Ragone, PLP 1 (1976) 94 no. 1003.
Buondelmonti 195-196. 20 Ragone, Membrana maxima. – Ragone, Buondelmonti 205-217.
15 Città del Vaticano, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Ms. Chigi F. IV.74: Barsanti, 21 On this problem, see Barsanti, Costantinopoli 164-197.
Costantinopoli 86-87.  – Ragone, Buondelmonti 206-208. The subscriptio is 22 Effenberger, Illustrationen 18 n. 19 are first, those mentioned, but illustrated
still present in the following copies of the LIA and DIC: 1: Paris, Bibliothèque without inscription; second, those mentioned, but not illustrated, and third,
nationale de France, Cartes et Plans, Ms. Rés. Ge. FF 9351: Luttrell, Halikarnas- those not mentioned, but with records of illustrated buildings and monuments.
sos 194 no. 31. – 2: Padua, Biblioteca Universitaria, Ms. 1606: Luttrell, Halikar- The list is in need of revision, as all Constantinople copies would have to be
nassos 194 no. 30. – 3: Città del Vaticano, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Ms. considered. With regard to the Monastery of Christ Pantepoptes, see n. 25. –
Ross. 703 (according to the entry on fol. 24r copied by Bartolomeo de Columnis Gerola, Vedute 266-269, has put together the inscriptions for 10 versions in a
of Chios, in which the incipit on fol. 1r gives the year 1425). – On the dating of synoptic table. In addition, however, there are further inscriptions on vedute
the individual versions, see Ragone, Buondelmonti 193-194. not used by him.
16 The short version C of the LIA contains neither the acrostic nor the incipit of 23 Asutay-Effenberger / Effenberger, Columna virginea.

Constantinople / İstanbul: The Early Pictorial Sources  |  Arne Effenberger 21

they still bear a crowning cross. Only in a few cases, reliably who visited Constantinople in 1434 is the only one who
datable elements are included by later copyists, such as the mentioned the sweet water that sprang from under the Mon-
representation of the Yedikule Fortress (built 1457/1458) on astery of Peribleptos 36. That the water actually flowed down
a veduta in Paris 24. Here you will also find the only labelled the valley as an open brook before the spring in the Hagiasma
reproduction of the Monastery of Christ Pantepoptes known of the Armenian church Surp Kevork was set 37, must surely
to me 25. be assumed. On the contrary, although the above-mentioned
Likewise, the harbours depicted have not been updated Parisian copy (see n. 24) shows the Church of Peribleptos, but
to include changes made after 1453. Referred to in the LIA indicates the mouth of the brook just below the Stoudios
are the olim portus velanga 26, contescali vel arsana 27 and Basilica and has also moved the harbour of Vlanga here with
portulus imperatoris 28; depicted on several copies are the the indicated mole.
former harbour by the Mermerkule (Marble Tower; portus sed The large-format view in the Düsseldorf version of the
destructus preceptu turchorum), the Harbour of Theodosius LIA, which can be dated to 1485-1490 on the basis of the
(Vlanga), Bucoleon (portus olim palatii imperatoris) and Kon- watermarks and image-related evidence (fig. 2) 38 differs fun-
toskalion (Receptaculum dictum contiscali) 29. The harbour by damentally from the traditional Constantinople depictions.
the Mermerkule is often marked by a south-westerly pier and This view is again based on accurate local knowledge of
on representations where the mole is missing the impression Mehmed II‘s city, supplemented by a few updates from the
is created that the ditch was in direct connection with or ran time of Bayezıd II 39. Besides Constantinople, Eyüp, Pera and
into the Sea of Marmara 30. Although it is not possible to de- a part of Üsküdar (Scutari), it also covers the territory on both
cide whether the harbour depiction is a more recent element sides of the Bosphorus to the coast of the Black Sea. This
and is based on local historical memory referring to the events representation also contains numerous »deliberate« anachro-
of 1390/1391 31, but I do not consider tracing it back to one nisms 40 and, as an innovation, the Valens aqueduct, which is
of Buondelmonti’s replicas to be out of the question. missing on all the Buondelmonti vedute 41. However, the mina-
In most of the Buondelmonti views of Constantinople rets of the Fatih Camii have been omitted. Vlanga (inscription:
(fig. 1), the river Lycos begins within the city (incorrect), runs Vlanga locus aquosus) is only depicted here as a completely
north of the Column of Theodosius (incorrect) 32 or between walled-in area with eleven towers (fig. 3) 42. The views of the
this and the Column of Arcadius (correct) 33 and ends in the Buondelmonti type normally show a southern pier and usually
Harbour of Kontoskalion (incorrect). The Lycos flows correctly mark the former harbour basin as already silted up (fig. 1) 43.
into the bay of Vlanga in only a few copies from the second The Kontoskalion – here already operating as a galley harbour
half of the fifteenth century 34. In contrast, a body of water (Kadırgalimanı) and shipyard – is subdivided into outer and
rises at the Church of Peribleptos and pours into the harbour inner harbour basins (inscription: mare) and closed with an
bay of Vlanga in numerous verdute 35. Both errors could be iron gate, with five ship sheds (inscription: darsinale) includ-
traced back to Buondelmonti‘s original version, since it was ing warships of the Kadırga type lying within 44 and a galley
apparently forgotten where the extensively canalised Lycos moored on the inner bank (fig. 4) 45. Another arsenal, proba-
ended. However, it cannot be ruled out that the sewers of the bly built under Mehmed II, with two ship sheds and a landing
Kainoupolis district flowed into the still open bay of the Kon- stage in front of a gate of the Serail or the Marmara seawall
toskalion. This may also explain the inexorable silting up of (Değirmenkapı?), with the inscription darsinale regiu(m), is
the inner harbour basin, which led to its disuse in the middle located in the area of the former Mangana (fig. 5) 46. A regular
of the sixteenth century. The anonymous Armenian pilgrim pier is located in front of the cannon foundry (Tophane), two

24 Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Ms. Nouv. Aqu. Lat. 2383, fol. 34v: Ef- Ross. 702, fol. 32v (watermark c. 1475/1478): Barsanti, Costantinopoli 182
fenberger, Polichnion, with fig. 1. – Ganschou, «La Tour d’Irène» 159-200 fig. 4. fig. 78.  – London, British Library, Ms. Arundel 93, fol. 155r (colophon from
25 Buondelmonti mentioned the cisterna panda pophti (Bayer, Transkription 91 1485): ibid. 196. 207 fig. 75.
§ 40), whereby is meant the Çukurbostanı (Cistern of Aspar) by the Yavuz Selim 35 See Barsanti, Costantinopoli figs 48. 61. 64. 77. 83-84. 87. 91; only the water
Camii. As a result, locating the monastery on the sixth hill, proposed by Mango, course without connection to the Church of Peribleptos: fig. 72.
Monastery of Christos Pantepoptes, gains further support. 36 Brock, Description 88. 98-99. – The Peribleptos Monastery had a good natural
26 Beyer, Transkription 50 (8): ollim portus velanga.  – On the harbour, Külzer, spring, as the Turkish name Sulu Manastır (»monastery with water«) indicates.
Harbour of Theodosius, in this volume. The source was once under the altar of the neighbouring Church of St Stephen
27 Ibid. 50 (9): condescali uel arsana. – On the harbour, see Heher, Harbour of of Aurelianus, see Müller-Wiener, Bildlexikon 200.
Julian, in this volume. 37 Atzemoglu, T‘agiasmata 51-52.
28 Ibid. 50 (11): portulus imperatoris. – On the harbour, see Heher, Harbour of the 38 Effenberger, Illustrationen 67-68.
Boukoleon, in this volume. 39 The Türbe of Mehmed II, which was built after his death (1481).
29 The different name variants on six copies in Gerola, Vedute 269-269. 40 Effenberger, Illustrationen 67.
30 On the scarce information on the Brachialion, which sealed off the ditch against 41 Effenberger, Illustrationen 48 no. 35 fig. 32.
the sea, see Simeonov, Brachialion, in this volume. 42 Effenberger, Illustrationen 31-33 no. 13 fig. 32. – See Külzer, Harbour of The-
31 On this, see Majeska, Travelers 100-104 (account of Ignaty of Smolensk) 408- odosius, in this volume.
415 §§ 81-87). 43 For example, see Barsanti, Costantinopoli figs 48. 60-61. 64. 70-75. 77-81.
32 Venice, Biblioteca Marciana, MS. Lat. XIV.45 (=4595): Barsanti, Costantinopoli 83-84. 87. 91. 94. 97.
fig. 61; see also figs 83-84. 86-87. 90-91. 44 On the types, see Bostan, Osmanlı Bahriye Teşkilâtı 85.
33 Barsanti, Costantinopoli figs 48. 60. 64. 72. 75. 77-78. 100. 45 Effenberger, Illustrationen 29-31 no. 12 fig. 32. – See Heher, Harbour of Julian,
34 Ravenna, Biblioteca Civica Classense, Ms. Lat. 308, fol. 58v: Barsanti, Costan- in this volume.
tinopoli 100 fig. 64. – Città del Vaticano, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Ms. 46 Effenberger, Illustrationen 26 fig. 32 no. 7.

22 Constantinople / İstanbul: The Early Pictorial Sources  |  Arne Effenberger

Fig. 2  View of Constantinople, Pera and
the upper Bosphorus by Cristoforo Buon-
delmonti, Liber insularum archipelagi.
Düsseldorf, Universitäts- und Landesbib-
liothek, MS. G 13, fol. 54r, c. 1485-1490
(the manuscript is on loan from the City
of Düsseldorf to the Universitäts- und
Landesbibliothek of Düsseldorf).

Constantinople / İstanbul: The Early Pictorial Sources  |  Arne Effenberger 23

Fig. 3  Detail from fig. 2 showing the
Harbour of Theodosius, the Church of
St Mary Peribleptos and the Basilica of
St John Stoudios. – (Düsseldorf, Uni-
versitäts- und Landesbibliothek, MS. G
13, fol. 54r, c. 1485-1490).

more and a galley on the shore of Üsküdar (Scutari). It also 1478/1479 49. The Vavassore view has some inconsistencies
becomes clear that the entire shore zone of the Golden Horn in the city centre (the possible doubling of the sphendone
of Galata served as a harbour (fig. 1). of the Hippodrome, wrong or transposed inscriptions) and
is probably based on an intermediate draft that would have
already contained these errors 50. Dependant on the latter
Giovanni Andrea Vavassore are probably also the Constantinople veduta in Sebastian
Münster‘s Cosmographia of 1550 51, the large, double-sided
The 1530 woodcut by Giovanni Andrea Vavassore with the engraving by Giulino Ballino of 1567 52 and the Constantino-
cityscape of Constantinople (fig. 6) 47 is attributed to a proto- ple view in the Civitates of Georg Braun and Franz Hogen-
type that cannot have been made earlier than 1478/1479 48. berg (1572) 53. They all contain deviations and innovations in
The terminus post quem is given by the representation of individual cases compared to Vavassore‘s view. The common
the wall of the Topkapı Sarayı, which was completed in intermediary draft was probably based on a large-format

47 I know of only four copies of the woodcut: 1: Nürnberg, Germanisches Na- 51 Sebastian Münster, Cosmographia, Basel 1550 (simultaneous German and
tionalmuseum, SP 8190, Kapsel 1102 (52.6 cm × 36.8 cm): Fauser, Repertorium Latin editions) 940-941 (as well in all reprints from 1552-1628). – See Fauser,
379 no. 6817. – Berger, Vavassore 329-355 fig. 1. – Manners, Image 91-94 Repertorium LXI, 379 no. 6818 (woodcut by David Kandel). – Effenberger, Il-
fig. 8.  – 2: Staatsbibliothek Bamberg, Sign. IV C 44 (kindly pointed out by lustrationen fig. 6 (after the Latin edition in the Staatsbibliothek Bamberg, Sign.
Bernhard Schemel): Effenberger, Illustrationen fig. 5. – 3: Lyon, Bibliothèque J. H. Geogr. f. 2).
Municipale. – 4: California State Library, Coll. Fullerton. 52 Giulino Ballino, Disegni, without pagination. – See Fauser, Repertorium XXII,
48 Analysis of individual buildings: Berger, Vavassore 339-355. 379 no. 6820 (unsigned; stamped 1567). – Effenberger, Illustrationen fig. 7.
49 It can be ruled out that in the Vavassore woodcut buildings from the time of 53 Braun / Hogenberg, Civitatis orbis terrarum, Cologne 1572, vol. 1 pl. 51 (=
Bayezıd II (1481-1512) are already included, see Necipoğlu, Visual Cosmopoli- pl. 52 in the German edition). – See Fauser, Repertorium XXXIV-XXXV, 379
tanism 70 n. 125. Nr. 6824 (Kupferstich). – Berger, Vavassore 329-331 fig. 2.
50 Stichel, Coliseo 448-459.

24 Constantinople / İstanbul: The Early Pictorial Sources  |  Arne Effenberger

Fig. 4  Detail from fig. 2 showing the harbour and arsenal of Kadırgalimanı and
the stables. – (Düsseldorf, Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek, MS. G 13, fol. 54r,
c. 1485-1490).

Fig. 6  View of Constantinople, Pera-Galata and the Asiatic coast by Andrea Fig. 5  Detail from fig. 2 showing the Sultan’s arsenal and landing stage at Top-
Vavassore. Woodcut, c. 1530, after an original from 1478/1479-1481. – (Bam- kapı Sarayı. – (Düsseldorf, Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek, MS. G 13, fol. 54r,
berg, Staatsbibliothek, IV C 44). c. 1485-1490).

Constantinople / İstanbul: The Early Pictorial Sources  |  Arne Effenberger 25

Rosselli with two sheets of decorative material added« 56. I
think that this is not very convincing, since there is mention
of six (Rosselli) and once of eight single sheets (Columbus)
and the description in the inventory gives too few references
to individual representational elements 57.
However, regardless of this, the prototype and the postu-
lated intermediate draft already contained numerous ships of
different types (galleons, galleys), some of which carry flags
with the Byzantine double eagle, Venetian lion, Ottoman
crescent and Genoese cross. In this respect, Gülru Necipoğlu
referred to the treaty between Mehmed II and Venice of 1479
and considered the creation of the Vavassore prototype soon
after that date as possible 58. Whoever created the prototype,
the question also arises how he was able to explore the city
and in particular the two serails within its walls in such detail,
which could certainly only have happened with the permis-
sion of Mehmed 59. This suggests a dating of the original
before 1481 60.
Vavassore’s veduta shows the city from a bird’s eye view
Fig. 7  Detail from fig. 6 showing the area between Yedikule and Vlanga. –
(Bamberg, Staatsbibliothek, IV C 44). like Buondelmonti’s depiction (fig. 1), but from the Asian side.
Noticeable distortions can be found in the southern part of
the city (top left). The church with the river, i. e., the Church
view of Constantinople consisting of several single sheets. of Peribleptos, is wrongly labelled as St  Lazarus (fig. 7) 61.
There are some candidates for this. The inventory of the Against the course of the coastline, the Vlanga (inscription:
bequests of the Florentine cartographer Francesco Rosselli Lauulaca) is stylised as a rectangular walled area with six
(† after 1508) lists among the printing plates different views towers and is marked with three bushes in accordance with
of Constantinople: Gostantinopoli in 6 pezzi; gostantinopoli its function as a bostan (garden). To the west is the fenced-in
in tela cholorita inn istampa del pupillo; francia chon parte area of Küçük Langa Bostanı. The watercourse is no longer
gostantinopoli, in mezzo goglie comume 54. Also in the ex- shown as in the Düsseldorf view. In the case of Kadırgalimanı,
tensive printmaking collection of Johannes Columbus (1488- Vavassore offers an irregularly immured area for the inner part
1539) in Seville was a five-page woodcut by the Florentine of the Tersane with the portal-like iron gate (see p. 63, fig. 8).
Lucantonio degli Umberti (Venice, c. 1510-1529) 55 and an The five ship sheds with far too small entrances and the single
eight-leaf view of Constantinople. On the latter, Peter Barber galley in the inner basin are apparently rotated by 180° for
remarked: »Its composition, as described in the inventory, better clarity. The above-mentioned Vavassore-type vedute
leaves little doubt that it was the model for the single-sheet have freely spun out the interior (see pp. 64-65, figs 10-12).
woodcut of about 1520 by Giovan Andrea Vavassore […] It The former imperial harbour and the façade of the Palace of
is possible that the print may have some relationship with or Bucoleon are missing. Only the inscription porta leona de la
may even be the six-sheet printed view of Constantinople by riua next to a gate in the sea wall refers to the portal with

54 Del Badia, Bottega 24-30. – Hind, Early Italian Engraving 1, 304. 305-306 (inv. İstanbul Sarayları 18-19. The church appears to be much more detailed and
III no. 60; inv. I no. 4; inv. III no. 47). Manners, Image 94 and Stichel, Coliseo still intact, but without an inscription on the engraving in Panvinio, De ludis
454. 459, however, judges tracing back Vavassore’s woodcut to Rosselli with circensibus 61 pl. R. Mango, L’Euripe de l’hippodrome 182 n. 5, dated the
scepticism, although the latter basically insists on a large-sized six-part proto- original to after 1491, because the Firuz Ağa Camii, built 1491, was already
type. depicted. The Nea Ekklesia possibly existed as a ruin for a longer period. The
55 Barber, Maps vol. 1, 261 n. 77; vol. 2, 569, inv. no. 3159. – See also Hind, Early Bolognese scholar Luigi Fernando Marsili (1658-1730), who, as a young man,
Italian Engraving 1, 211-214. lived in İstanbul in 1679/1680 in the service of the Venetian Bailo, reported: giù
56 Barber, Maps vol. 1, 255; vol. 2, 573, inv. no. 3178. The author does not cite verso le stalle v’é una chiesa di stile greco, cinta con pilastri di muro, avendo
the works of Berger, Vavassore and Stichel, Coliseo, nor is he aware that an- tre capelle e la porta. Di fuori ha aspetto buonissimo, e nella volta si scoprono
other copy of Vavassore’s woodcut exists in the Staatsbibliothek of Bamberg. anche alcune vestigie di mosaico (»Down in the direction of the stables, there
57 Necipoğlu, Visual Cosmopolitanism 70 n. 125, is also sceptical. is a Greek-style church, surrounded by pilasters on the wall, which has three
58 Necipoğlu, Visual Cosmopolitanism 27. chapels [apses] and a door. From the outside it has a very beautiful appearance,
59 On the depiction of the three kiosks in the Topkapı Sarayı, see Necipoğlu, Visual and on the vaulting one spot even some remnants of mosaic«), see Paribeni,
Cosmopolitanism 27. Chiesa antica greca nel serraglio posta 318 (Bologna, Biblioteca Universitaria,
60 The latest date for the creation of the original – 1490 – was long argued on Fondo Marsili, MS. 51, c. 356v). By stalle he means the stables of Mehmed II,
the grounds that the church in Vavassore’s woodcut named as S.  Luca Eu- which are shown for the first time in the Düsseldorf İstanbul view with the
angelista was the Nea Ekklesia or the Güngörmez kilisesi, which served as a inscription stabula regis, see Effenberger, Illustrationen 28 no. 10 fig. 32 (see
baruthane (powder magazine) and on 12 July 1490 was destroyed by lightning, my fig. 4). The church was, therefore, west of the stables in the former palace
see Mango, Brazen House 180. – Mango, Développement 9 n. 9. – Mango, area. – See now Effenberger, St. Grovus.
Nea Ekklesia: ODB II (1991) 1446; followed by Effenberger, Illustrationen 19. 61 Berger, Vavassore 349 no. 35.
The Ottoman written sources for the thunderstorm on 12 July 1490 in Konyalı,

26 Constantinople / İstanbul: The Early Pictorial Sources  |  Arne Effenberger

Fig. 8  Depiction of the storm of 12 July 1490 in Hartmann Schedel’s Liber Chronicum. – (From Hartmann Schedel, Liber Chronicarum (1493), fol. 257r, com-
plete edition, coloured, 1493, introduction and commentary by S. Füssel [Cologne 2001]).

Constantinople / İstanbul: The Early Pictorial Sources  |  Arne Effenberger 27

on which the devastating storm of 12 July 1490 is rep-
resented (see n. 60 above). It must be the case that the
woodcutter Wilhelm Pleydenwurff produced images from
various models from before 1493 for all three illustrations 64.
This issue arises, above all, for the compilation of build-
ings, which only occurs on folio 257r 65. The Hagia Sophia
is depicted with two minarets, the wooden minaret on the
west side and the minaret of Mehmed II on the southeast
corner, although the imprecise depiction seems to suggest
the eastern aspect 66. What is striking is the great agreement
with the Düsseldorf reproduction of the Hagia Sophia (east
side with apse and minaret) and the Column of Justinian
with a rider (fig. 9) 67. The same connection between church
(without minarets) and column also appears in the two
other Constantinople depictions in the Liber chronicarum,
but the rider there is incorrectly turned to the left (west). I
have already discussed the question of the possible template
for the Hagia Sophia and Justinian‘s Column, including the
equestrian statue that no longer existed after 1456. It could
not be proved that the Constantinople view by Peronet Lamy
Fig. 9  Detail from fig. 2 showing the Hagia Sophia and the Column of Justinian († 1453), contained in two copies of the Notitia Dignitatum,
with equestrian statue. – (Düsseldorf, Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek, Ms. G
13, fol. 54r, c. 1485-1490). goes back to Ciriacus of Ancona, and it could neither be
proven that either of the two copies was known to Schedel
or the illustrators of the Liber chronicarum 68. The Church of
spolia below the (demolished) western palace front (see p. 69, St John the Theologian on Diippion (mistakenly referred to
fig. 2; p. 76, fig. 19) 62. The Golden Horn was probably (mis) as Joh<ann>is bapt<is>te) is only illustrated once, but with-
understood by the Venetian Vavassore alone as the »Canal out an inscription, in the above-mentioned (p. 22) Parisian
Grande« and filled with eight gondolas that serve as traghetti Buondelmonti vedute from the period after 1457/1458 69.
(fig. 6). The stables of Mehmed II, here differentiated as horse and
camel stables (Stabula equitum and Stabula camelorum, re-
spectively), are shown as an open, four-sided courtyard with
Hartmann Schedel gates and windows, as well as on the İstanbul miniature
of Matrakçı Nasuh from 1537 70. In the slightly older Düs-
The 1493 Liber chronicarum, the world chronicle of the seldorf depiction it is reproduced as a free-standing build-
Nuremberg physician and Humanist Hartmann Schedel ing within a courtyard with two entrances (fig. 2 and 4) 71.
(1440-1514), contains three views of Constantinople 63: a Stephan Gerlach (in İstanbul from 1573 to 1578) described
large-scale representation of the entire urban area including the stables as follows: »Further I came to the Emperor’s sta-
Pera on two pages on folios 129r-130v (see p. 44, fig. 5); a bles, an exceedingly large, long and wide building, in which
reduced reproduction of this representation on folio 249r; several hundred horses can stand [...] The place where the
and a section of the eastern city area on folio 257r (fig. 8), horses stand is a building, as otherwise a karavanseray, in

62 Effenberger, Illustrationen 28-29. – On the Bukoleon Palace, see Heher, Har- 66 Effenberger, Minarette.
bour of the Bukoleon, in this volume. 67 On the Düsseldorf veduta, only the minaret on the southeast corner of the
63 Fauser, Repertorium LXV-LXVI, 378-379 nos 6810-6816 (all prints from 1493- Hagia Sophia is indicated, the wooden minaret on the southern staircase tower
1497). of the west side was not visible from the chosen viewpoint.
64 Berger / Bardill, Representations of Constantinople 2-14 see the originals in 68 It is the copy of the lost Speyer Codex in Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS. Canon.
Buondelmonti’s vedute and in the protoype of Vavassore’s view. Not all at- Misc. 378 (the Constantinople miniature on fol. 84r), of which another copy
tempts at identification are convincing. The towering »pole« on a two-level exists in Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Clm 794 (the Constantinople
substructure between the columns of Justinian and Theodosius certainly stands depiction, fol. 167r, see Effenberger, Minarette 197-200, colour fig. 9).
for the Obelisk of Theodosius in the Hippodrome. The completely immured and 69 Westbrook, Freshfield Folio, wants to identify the building on folio 21 of the
tree-covered district with the gate from which a brook gushes out, is Vlanga (as »Freshfield Album« (Cambridge, Trinity College, MS. 0.17.2) with the Church
Külzer in this volume concurs), a combination of the Buondelmonti and Vavas- of St John on the Diippion, but ignores the pictorial sources (and, accordingly,
sore type. The immured district on the Golden Horn does not indicate the outer the literature, which deals with it), which show a double shell octagon with
wall of Leo V, but the Phanarion. Both are illustrated only on the Düsseldorf drum. For an important written testimony, see Grélois, Note. – For the church,
view (the latter with inscription fanarium), see Effenberger, Illustrationen 39-40 see now Magdalino, The Church of St John the Apostle.
nos 21-22 fig. 32. The Phanarion by itself only appears in Vavassore’s veduta. 70 İstanbul, University Library, MS. Yıldız Ty 5964, fols 8b and 9a: Yurdaydın, Ma-
This would indeed speak in favour of the fact that an intermediate template or trakçı Nasuh pl. 8a.
a copy of the Vavassore type was known to the illustrator. 71 See above n. 60.
65 Analysis: Berger / Bardill, Representations of Constantinople 15-24.

28 Constantinople / İstanbul: The Early Pictorial Sources  |  Arne Effenberger

the middle a beautiful large open space, a lot of water in
it, and a high house, like a quadrangular tower« 72. The Han
character of the building seems to have been characterised
best on sheet 257r. From the arsenal of Kadırgalimanı only
the roofs of the five ship sheds can be seen behind the sea
wall, but it is confirmed once again that there were only five
sheds. Most striking is the reproduction of the Muchrutas (a
Seljuk pavilion), which apparently still existed within the indi-
cated palace ruins 73. The buildings in Topkapı Sarayı (Domus
mag<ni> turci) and in the serail garden (Viridium) are also
of interest. The missing upper floor of Bab-ı Hümamayun
and the two towers flanking Babüsselam reappear almost
simultaneously on the Düsseldorf view (fig. 2) and on sheet
257r of the Liber chronicarum (fig. 8). The Hagia Eirene (erro-
neously referred to as S. Joh<ann>es Chrysostoma 74) is also
placed only on the Düsseldorf veduta in the first courtyard
of the serail with the inscription S. elini 75. The church in the
corner of the serail appears for the first time on the Düssel- Fig. 10  Detail from the depiction of Constantinople in the Kitab-ı Bahriye of Piri
Reis (London), showing the Harbour of Theodosius with free-standing tower. –
dorf view in the same place and is labelled here as S. Maria. (London, Khalili Collection. From Asutay-Effenberger, Landmauer fig. 47).
I consider it to be the Hodegetria Church 76. The inscription S.
Geor<g>ius must be related to the Georgios Church further
to the north in the Mangana quarter. The damaged church
building (Destruct<i>o antiqua) outside the line, which ac- mosques and houses in a condensed manner, with the most
cording to the inscription circulus deuast<i>onis marks the important buildings and city gates labelled with the Ottoman
limit of the effects of the storm, must mean the Baruthane names 80. The Harbour of Theodosius is reproduced as on
and not the Nea Ekklesia (see n. 60 above) 77. Incidentally, the Buondelmonti copies in the state before the complete
the view on page 257r illustrates oral reports of the storm, closure of the alluvial bay. It was only depicted with the
for the text states: »as the trustworthy Venetians and other free-standing tower in the sea, which was also erroneously
merchants said«. Perhaps the whole representation goes represented as a round tower (fig. 10) 81. This state of the
back to a locally made leaflet that recorded this event 78 and harbour, which was long obsolete at the time of origin of the
that the woodcutters have implemented it in their manner, map, is therefore likely to date back to an unknown original,
using the Column of Justinian with the equestrian statue which must be older than the prototype of the Vavassore
from an unknown original. view of 1479/1481 82. A copy of the Buondelmonti type can
probably be ruled out, especially since neither moles nor signs
of sedimentation can be identified.
Ottoman Representations The İstanbul miniature by Matrakçı Nasuh from 1537 fol-
lows a different depiction principle 83. İstanbul is seen from
The Kitab-ı Bahriye (»Book of Seafaring«) by the navigator the side of the Theodosian walls, thus reproduced from the
and cartographer Piri Reis, of which numerous copies have west 84. Galata-Pera is only to be considered correctly if the
been preserved, was made between 1521 and 1526 79. The double leaf (each 31.2 cm × 22.5 cm) is turned by 90° in a
two-page İstanbul map is from the bird’s-eye view, as are clockwise direction 85. Many buildings can be identified and
the Buondelmonti and Vavassore-type views, but as seen prove the high value of this veduta as a witness for the state
from the north. The illustration includes Constantinople, of the city at the time of Suleiman the Magnificent 86. Within
Galata-Pera, the Asian side with Üsküdar and Kadıköy and the two cities, the individual buildings are usually arranged
the Princes’ Islands. The interior of the city is packed with horizontally, but the painter had to solve the problem of

72 Gerlach, Tagebuch 336B-337A (21 April 1577). 80 Asutay-Effenberger, Landmauer 216-223 fig. 47 (London, Khalili Collection). –
73 Recognised by Asutay-Effenberger, Muchrutas. Asutay-Effenberger, Kitâb-ı Bahriye.
74 Berger / Bardill, Representations of Constantinople 20-21. 81 In the London copy, the tower has the inscription »Kulle-i Hamza«, see Soujek,
75 Effenberger, Illustrationen 23-24 no. 2 fig. 32. Piri Reis 134. – Asutay-Effenberger, Landmauer 219.
76 Effenberger, Illustrationen 27-28 no. 9 fig. 32. – Grotowski, The Hodegon. 82 Effenberger, Illustrationen 32.
77 Alternatively: Berger / Bardill, Representations of Constantinople 23. 83 Orbay, Istanbul viewed 47-67. – Halbout du Tanney, Istanbul.
78 Berger / Bardill, Representations of Constantinople 15: »apparently based on a 84 Yurdaydın, Matrakçı Nasuh pl. 8b.
sketch made on the spot by Schedel’s informers«. 85 Yurdaydın, Matrakçı Nasuh pl. 8a.
79 Orbay, Istanbul viewed 117-289. – Soucek, Piri Reis 132-135. – Effenberger, 86 Denny, Plan of Istanbul (often with wrong identifications).
Illustrationen fig. 11 (copy in Berlin, Staatsbibliothek, Orientabteilung, Sign.
Dietz A fol. 57, c. 1663-1724/1725).

Constantinople / İstanbul: The Early Pictorial Sources  |  Arne Effenberger 29

Fig. 11  Detail from the view of
Istanbul by Matrakçı Nasuh, show-
ing Kadırgalimanı and Langa Bos-
tanı. – (From Halbout du Tanney,
Istanbul fig. 21).

how to depict walls and alignments of buildings running in towers stand on three sides on an imaginary level and tilt
a west-east direction. Thus, the towers and curtain walls of inwards, while the two large corner towers on the sea side
the sea walls at the Golden Horn along the shore are shown »topple over« back into the sea (fig. 11). There are lovely
standing upright. On the Sea of Marmara, the painter tried details inside, such as a large bed of flowers and vegetables,
to make a perspective view, which reached to the sphendone three trees and two draw wells. The inner basin, the retaining
of the Hippodrome, but on the vertical coastline, the towers wall and the large gate of Kadırgalimanı are depicted, but the
seem to »topple over« into the sea. In the case of the walled artist made a mistake by moving the five ship sheds to the
and almost square-shaped district of Langa Bostanı, the eight opposite end of the inner bay.

30 Constantinople / İstanbul: The Early Pictorial Sources  |  Arne Effenberger

The Hünername (»Book of Skills«) created by Seyyid Lok- turned upside down in each case may not have disturbed the
man in 1584/1585 for the Sultan Murad III (1574-1595) con- observers, as the city is actually made to be experienced by its
tains a map of İstanbul (44.0 cm × 27.5 cm) attributed to the two main sides. Nevertheless, the view is relatively reliable in
painter Veli Can 87. In addition to the actual city, the map topographical terms. Although labels are missing, most build-
extends from the Golden Horn to the confluence of the ings can be identified. The apparent doubling of the walled
combined rivers of Alibey suyu and Kağıthane suyu, a large Harbour of Theodosius could be clarified 89. The reproduction
part of Galata with the Tersane-i Amire of Kasımpaşa, the of Kadırgalimanı is inaccurate 90.
villages Hasköy and Sütlüçe, the cult district of Eyüp, the In summary, only the Düsseldorf view (fig. 2) reflects the
settlements on the foreland of the Theodosian walls and a contemporary situation of both the former Harbour of Theo-
corner of Üsküdar. In the view, a different kind of representa- dosius and the situation of Kadırgalimanı during the reign of
tion of the building is encountered, which actually forces the Mehmed II in a way that corroborates or complements the
image to be rotated and viewed from several angles. This is written sources. This is due to the fact that with this veduta
exactly how the draughtsman must have done his work and we have a contemporary pictorial document that was made
chosen different city points 88. The lower third of İstanbul is by a draughtsman who was well-versed in local circumstances
viewed from the Marmara side, the upper part assumes the (if not particularly gifted) and whose intention was no longer
view from the Golden Horn. The fact that the buildings are to illustrate the Constantinople chapter of the LIA.

Summary / Zusammenfassung

Constantinople / İstanbul: The Early Pictorial Sources Konstantinopel / İstanbul: die frühen bildlichen  

The illustrations included in the individual chapters on the Zeugnisse
harbours have a varying degree of testimonial value, both Die den einzelnen Hafen-Kapiteln beigegebenen Abbildun-
in terms of the state of the city of Constantinople / İstanbul gen haben einen unterschiedlichen Zeugniswert sowohl in
and also terms of the representation of the harbours and Bezug auf den Zustand der Stadt Konstantinopel / İstanbul
landing places. This applies especially to the early city views als auch mit Blick auf die Darstellung der Häfen und Anle-
from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. In this chapter, the gestellen. Dies betrifft vor allem die frühen Stadtansichten
harbours on the vedute of the Buondelmonti and Vavassore aus dem 15. und 16. Jahrhundert. In dem Beitrag werden
types, of Hartmann Schedel, as well as several early Ottoman die Hafenanlagen auf den Veduten vom Buondelmonti- und
views (Matraçı Nasuh, Piri Reis, Lokman’s Hünername) will vom Vavassore-Typus, Hartmann Schedel sowie einige frühe
be discussed. For the illustrations of the Buondelmonti and osmanische Ansichten (Matraçı Nasuh, Piri Reis, Hünername
Vavassore types, possible underlying pictorial sources will be des Lokman) untersucht. Für die Darstellungen vom Buon-
analysed. The Düsseldorf view of İstanbul in Cristoforo Buon- delmonti- und Vavassore-Typus werden die möglicherweise
delmonti’s Liber insularum archipelagi of 1485/1490, which zugrundeliegenden Bildquellen behandelt. Als in vielerlei Hin-
already conveys the state of the city at the time of Mehmed II sicht aussagekräftig erweist sich die Düsseldorfer İstanbul-
or Bayezıd II, proves to be significant in many respects. Ansicht im Liber insularum archipelagi des Cristoforo Buon-
delmonti von 1485/1490, die bereits den Zustand der Stadt
zurzeit Mehmets II. bzw. Beyazıts II. überlief.

87 İstanbul, Topkapı Sarayı Kütüphanesi, Hazine 1523, vol. 1, fols. 158b. 158ar. – 88 Orbay, Istanbul Viewed 90-114.
Anafarta, Hünername pl 37. – Orbay, Istanbul Viewed 73-116. – Effenberger, 89 Effenberger, Illustrationen 32.
Illustrationen fig. 12. 90 See Heher, Harbour of Julian fig. 13, in this volume.

Constantinople / İstanbul: The Early Pictorial Sources  |  Arne Effenberger 31

Alkiviadis Ginalis  ·  Ayşe Ercan Kydonakis

Some Reflections on the Archaeology

of the Late Antique and Byzantine Harbours
of Constantinople

This chapter aims to complement the other contributions of end of the harbour excavation area. Amongst the various
this volume 1 with particular remarks on the physical remains harbour structures brought to light, the most striking features
of the harbours of Constantinople. Due to the impossibility of form two massive jetties located in the eastern harbour basin
covering the entire spectrum of archaeology within a chapter, (fig. 2) 5. Both jetties are oriented in a north-south direction
the following archaeological commentary will focus primarily corresponding to a perpendicular position to the northern
on the architecture of harbour facilities per se, which consist shoreline of the late antique harbour basin (fig. 3). In con-
of features such as quay structures, breakwaters with mole trast to the very poor state of preservation of the western
or wall superstructures, as well as jetties and pier remains. In jetty, the eastern one is in surprisingly good condition and
striking contrast to the relative abundance of historical ac- completely preserved over a length of 35 m and a total width
counts, the visual and archaeological knowledge of harbour of 4 m (fig. 4) 6.
structures along the coasts of the Golden Horn and the Sea of The structure consists of two different parts: a solid and
Marmara was for a long time limited to sparse visual evidence, homogeneous foundation, which has a uniform and linear
such as photographic illustrations, maps, plans and historical shape; and a superstructure of large ashlar blocks (fig. 5).
depictions, together with short references and rather vague The foundation is characterised by a compact composition
field notes 2. In fact, it was not until 2004 that a comprehen- of mortar mixed with rubble stones and ceramics (figs 6-7) 7,
sive insight into the harbours of Byzantine Constantinople, resembling the construction method of opus caementicium.
notably the harbour of Theodosius at Yenikapı, Chrysopolis at Considering the unique conditions in the marine environ-
Üsküdar and Neorion / Prosphorion at Sirkeci was possible for ment, it can be assumed that the construction of the foun-
the very first time due to the large-scale rescue excavations dation required a certain type of hydraulic concrete, mixing
conducted prior to the so-called Marmaray-Metro Construc- quicklime, seawater and an aggregate as a mortar-binding
tion Project 3. Following the geographical order of the Volume, material 8. Whether the aggregate used for the concrete
the paper is structured on the basis of the archaeological data. composition consists of pozzolanic mortar, the so-called pu-
Hence, starting with the site of Yenikapı. teolanus pulvis (a volcanic sand from the Gulf of Naples near
Puteoli) 9, or any other volcanic ash or aggregate, still needs
to be investigated through archaeometric analysis. Although
The Theodosian Harbour at Yenikapı Brandon aptly suggests that the concrete foundation of the
eastern jetty represents a structure that can no longer be
With an exceptionally large excavation area of 58 000 m² defined as »Roman marine concrete« 10, it nevertheless fol-
(fig. 1), the archaeological site at Yenikapı revealed, not only lows Roman harbour construction techniques. As described
a total number of 37 shipwrecks of the Early to Late Byzantine by the Roman architect and engineer Vitruvius Pollio, as well
periods 4, but also a multitude of architectural remains. The as later by the Byzantine scholar and historian Procopius of
latter are situated both at the eastern and the very western Caesarea, hydraulic concrete installations protruding into the

1 A first German version without the present article was published in 2016: Daim,   5 A jetty forms a permanent solid structure built out into the sea or harbour basin
Häfen. as part of a harbour or dockyard alongside which ships could berth for loading
2 Dark, Harbours 152-154; Demangel, Contribution 42. 46-47; Krischen, Land- and unloading activities: Ginalis, Byzantine Ports 35; Dear / Kemp, Ships and the
mauer tab. 18; Schneider / Meyer-Plath, Landmauer tab. 25a-b; Mamboury / Wie- Sea 290-291.
gand, Kaiserpaläste, tab. XXVIII-XXX, XXXV-XXXVI; Mango, Spolia figs 1-3;   6 Ercan, Yenikapı 121.
Müller-Wiener, Häfen, tab. 48,2; Simeonov, Brachialion, in this volume, figs 3-4.   7 Gökçay, Architectural Finds 177.
12; G. Simeonov, Hebdomon figs 1. 14, in this volume.   8 For the technology and character of Roman marine and hydraulic concrete see
3 Kızıltan, Yenikapı, Sirkeci and Üsküdar. Blezard, Cements; Brandon et al., Building for Eternity 1-4. 141-187.
4 For a detailed study of the shipwrecks see Kocabaş, Yenikapı Shipwrecks; Ko-   9 As has been used for example at Roman Imperial harbours such as Caesarea
cabaş et al., Collection; Pulak / Ingram / Jones, Byzantine Shipwrecks; Pulak et al., Maritima, Pompeiopolis, Cosa, etc.: Brandon et al., Building for Eternity 73-81.
Shipwrecks of Yenikapı. A short but excellent overview with an historical analysis 94-101; McCann, Cosa; Oleson, Technology; Raban, Caesarea Maritima 64 ff.
is provided by Külzer, Harbour of Theodosius esp. 84-89, in this volume. 10 Brandon et al., Building for Eternity 136.

In: Falko Daim  ·  Ewald Kislinger (eds), The Byzantine Harbours of Constantinople. Byzanz zwischen Orient und Okzident 24 (Mainz 2021).
DOI: Archaeology of the Harbours of Constantinople  |  Alkiviadis Ginalis  ·  Ayşe Ercan Kydonakis 33
water, such as jetties or moles, were constructed by using rec- mortar, most likely another hydraulic concrete composition
tangular wooden formworks or chests (as Procopius refers to (figs 10-11).
them) 11. Such wooden formworks or caissons were prepared It is very likely that the chamber system technique was
on land and subsequently sunk into the water in order to be intentionally chosen for achieving a robust construction, but
placed on the seabed for the filling of the hydraulic concrete pertaining an inexpensive technique with available construc-
mixture 12. tion materials and labour means 18. Accordingly, this may well
Remains of such wooden caissons have actually been correspond to a time when the Byzantine Empire was in need
preserved at the eastern jetty at Yenikapı, indicating that the of swift action, as it was facing serious economic difficulties 19.
feature is composed of a series of individual concrete masses Yet, when did this occur?
(figs 4. 6) 13. Four samples from parallel vertical boards of the The technique used in Yenikapı has counterparts in a num-
wooden formwork had been dated through dendrochron- ber of harbour sites primarily along the central Greek coasts,
ological analysis to the period between AD 657 and 786 14. such as the harbours of Anthedon, Larymna, Theologos or
Hence, the construction of the jetty may well be allocated to Aegina and the outer harbours of Thessalian Thebes, but
further historically documented harbour works such as the also at the Corinthian harbour of Lechaion 20. The marked
construction or repair of the harbour fortification surrounding proliferation of these harbours seems to be directly linked
the harbour basin at the turn of the seventh to the eighth to the growing importance of Boeotia and Thessaly as major
century or further restoration measures in the first half of the producers and suppliers of grain and likewise other agricul-
ninth century 15. tural products, particularly from the seventh century onwards,
A dating to the Middle Byzantine period is further sup- in relation to the well-known consequences of the Arab con-
ported by the upper construction part, which sits on the quests 21. The increasing role of this new maritime network
homogeneous concrete foundation. This superstructure con- has clear reflections in Constantinople, and particularly in its
sists of large ashlar blocks (fig. 8). These, however, do not largest harbour located in Yenikapı.
represent only uniform building materials, but also a mixture
of various re-used blocks fitted in for the construction of A reference to a warehouse / granary called Horrea or Horion
the walking level. Accordingly, apart from mostly limestone Lamias situated on the eastern side of the Theodosian har-
blocks of different shapes, marble blocks and even three bour from the seventh century onwards is particularly note-
spolia blocks are used. The latter pertains to the fragments worthy within the historical context 22. This granary 23, identi-
of a frieze block decorated with a band of acanthus leaves fied with the so-called Horrea Alexandrina listed in the Notitia
confined by strips of egg-and-dart and Lesbian cymatium urbis Constantinopolitanae from the fifth century AD 24, not
(fig. 9) 16. Based on the decorative style, a terminus post only indicates continuous trade and shipping activities in the
quem of the mid-fifth to the mid-sixth century may be con- Theodosian harbour up to the late Middle Byzantine period,
sidered for the three decoration fragments 17. As such, the but also its possible close relationship to the harbour network
superstructure again indicates that the construction of the of Central Greece 25. This phenomenon possibly evinced by
eastern jetty may not be dated earlier than the beginning the etymology of granary’s name, Lamia, which has been
of the seventh century. Additionally, the superstructure does previously explained by a female monster 26. Nevertheless, as
not form a continuous level of ashlar blocks. Instead, the the Horrea Alexandrina signified the shipment of grain from
blocks were merely placed at the edges of each concrete unit, Alexandria in Egypt, it is very likely that the Horion Lamias
thus forming chambers. The chambers were subsequently is associated with the city of Lamia 27  – thus indicating the
filled again with a rough conglomerate of quarry stones and shipment of grain from central Greece, as a substitute of

11 Vitruvius, De Architectura V. 12. 3 (129 Rose / Müller-Strübing); Prokopios, De 22 Miracula Artemii (Crisafulli / Nesbitt) 107 (16); Patria Konstantinoupoleos 51. 85
Aedificiis I 11, 18-20 (IV 44 Haury / Wirth). (II 179, 246 Preger).
12 Brandon et al., Building for Eternity 189-222. 23 For warehouses, granaries and other commercial facilities see Ginalis, Byzantine
13 Ercan, Yenikapı 122-123; Gökçay, Architectural finds 177; the up-to-five Ports 48-54.
preserved units show an inclination towards the harbour basin of +1.15 m, 24 Notitia urbis Constantinopolitane X 6. 9 (237 Seeck); Magdalino, Constantino-
+1.21 m, +1.15 m, +1.42 m and +1.57 m: Ercan, Yenikapı 123. ple 23; Mundell Mango, Commercial Map 200-201 fig. 4; Kislinger, Better and
14 Kuniholm et al., Of Harbors and Trees 63. Worse Sites 9-10, in this volume.
15 Külzer, Harbour of Theodosius 40, in this volume; Müller-Wiener, Häfen 9. 25 Magdalino, Grain Supply 37.
16 Ercan, Yenikapı 121. 26 Ercan, Yenikapı 78; Janin, Constantinople 351-352.
17 Comparative examples from the sea walls, as well as the sea gate at the Bou- 27 Until the middle of the 6th c. the important Phthiotian city, which during the
koleon Palace, suggest a date during the reign of Emperor Justinian I (6th c.): Byzantine era belonged to the province of Thessaly, was known with its ancient
Mamboury / Wiegand, Kaiserpaläste tab. XVII-XVIII; Mango, Spolia 648 fig. 7. toponym »Lamia«; the bishopric was refounded in the 8th-9th c.: Koder / Hild,
18 Ginalis, Anthedon. Hellas und Thessalia 53-54. 81. 283-284. Written accounts adopted the Slavic
19 Ibid. origin toponym »Zetounion« (from the Palæoslavic word »zito«, meaning
20 Ginalis, Anthedon; Ginalis, Byzantine Ports 190; Knoblauch, Ägina 73; Paris, »grain« or »cereal crop«) only after the 9th c. However, its wider surrounding
Lechaion 10-11; Rothaus, Lechaion 295-296; Schäfer, Larymna 533-537; agriculturally fertile area remained known and associated with the toponym
Schläger / Blackman / Schäfer, Anthedon 36, Abb. 14; Triantafillidis / Kout- »Lamia«: Avramea, Thessalia 199; de Rosen, Rhomanian Boeotia 138-139;
soumba, Aegina 169. Karagiorgou, Urbanism 94-95. 107-110. 113; Pallis, Lamia 59.
21 Ginalis, Anthedon; Ginalis, Byzantine Ports 176-177. 193. 238-239. 244-245;
Karagiorgou, Urbanism 31. 168 ff.; Trombley, Boeotia 991-992.

34 Archaeology of the Harbours of Constantinople  |  Alkiviadis Ginalis  ·  Ayşe Ercan Kydonakis

Egypt. In this respect, the creation of the theme of Hellas in beyond the fact that no evidence of such a structure could be
AD 695 28 could again serve as an historical reference point for determined whatsoever 36, a lighthouse or lid beacon within
the construction of the eastern jetty at the turn of the seventh the interior harbour zone is not plausible considering its lo-
century to the eighth century 29. cation within the harbour basin. As such, it can be suggested
Some of the ashlar blocks feature small notches of either that the pentagonal shape, together with the incorporated
rectangular or trapezoidal shape, also known as dovetail ornamental spolia, rather served purely visual aesthetics 37.
grooves (fig. 12). Metal clamps, which were formed by pour- A further wall joins the eastern jetty at its southern end,
ing liquid lead into these grooves, provided a strong bonding which extends the structure approximately 20 to 25 m to-
between the individual blocks in order to achieve a high wards the south (fig. 14). The wall consists of one row with
stability and long-lasting resistance 30. However, the isolated two preserved layers of large, re-used ashlar blocks and rub-
appearance of grooved ashlar blocks indicates that the use of ble that are set in a system of headers (fig. 15). A second row
metal clamps was not an essential measure for the stability of most probably existed. This implies a maximum total width of
the jetty’s upper part. Consequently, certain blocks seem to around 2 m (half the size of the above-described Middle Byz-
have been removed from their original place in the structure, antine jetty). Without any use of mortar binding, the blocks
rendering the notches more or less unnecessary. In fact, the seem to have been placed loosely on the ground, providing
use of dovetailed lead fixings seems to be a characteristic the impression of a rather provisional construction. On top of
of ancient harbour architecture, for instance known from the well-worked ashlar blocks, undressed stones are placed
Caesarea Maritima 31. Possibly taken from an earlier harbour up to the height of the walking level of the adjacent eastern
facility, it presumably originated either from another jetty jetty. Despite the big difference in size to the latter, the struc-
or an older quay installation along the eastern end of the ture should also be identified as a jetty.
harbour (see below). However, based on the rough construction technique, as
Grooved stone blocks in a similarly re-used context can well as the fact that it forms an annexe to the Middle Byzan-
also be found at other Byzantine harbour sites, such as at tine equivalent, a much later date has to be assumed. This is
Thessalian Thebes, Lechaion or along the Küçükçekmece supported by the processing of re-used ashlar blocks, which
Lake 32. Similar to Anthedon, the chambers of rubble stones were most likely dismantled from the eastern jetty to its north.
and mortar were finally covered with a last layer of lime- The extension of the eastern jetty towards south is due to the
stone ashlar blocks and stone slabs, respectively (fig. 13) 33. constant siltation process of the harbour basin by the Lycus
Whether the jetty bore a further superstructure of brickwork river (Bayrampaşa Deresi today), which emptied into the bay
remains unknown. During the Byzantine era, the Roman of the Theodosian harbour (fig. 3) 38. The loose arrangement
tradition of combining concrete with brick for the construc- of ashlar blocks, without any mortar binding, indeed indicates
tion of arched harbour structures most likely continued (as that they must have been placed either on dry ground or
shown for example by Cristoforo Buondelmonti’s depiction in relatively shallow water. As such, the water depth in the
of Constantinople in his Liber insularum archipelagi) 34. Since harbour basin must have dropped by a large extent and the
the brickwork usually rests directly on the concrete founda- navigable sea level must have retreated farther south at some
tion, in this case, such a structure on top of the ashlar block point after the ninth century. This obviously required building
chambers should not be excluded. measures to reach the necessary draught for the docking of
Finally, in contrast to the usually rectangular-shaped the vessels. Based on the wreck finds in that area, the eastern
wooden chests, a pentagonal shape was chosen for the part of the eastern harbour basin remained in use for harbour
southernmost caisson. Visually, this results in giving the jetty activities at least until the eleventh century 39.
a pointed end (fig. 4). Due to this singular ground plan, it has In contrast to the general assumption that the Theodosian
been suggested that the last part of the jetty may be associ- harbour must have been entirely silted up by the end of the
ated with the previous existence of a lighthouse 35. However, twelfth century at the latest, Külzer rightly suggests a limited

28 Koder / Hild, Hellas und Thessalia 57; Živcović, Date of the Creation 142-143. 34 Aidoni et al., Journeys 22; Effenberger, Pictorial Sources fig. 1, in this volume.
About the considerable extension of the Slavic controlled territories in central For arched harbour structures in Roman times see Blackman, Ancient harbours
and southern Greece from the late sixth to the early 9th c., see Koder, Sied- II 197. 202 ff; Blackman, Sea Transport 648-649.
lungsgebiete; Kislinger, Regionalgeschichte als Quellenproblem and Kislinger, 35 Kocabaş, Theodosian Harbour 25.
Dyrrhachion. 36 Ercan, Yenikapı 134-135.
29 Ginalis, Anthedon. 37 Ibid. 121.
30 Ercan, Yenikapı 121; Ginalis, Byzantine Ports 184. 242. 38 Ercan, Yenikapı 86 fig. III. 13; Külzer, Harbour of Theodosius 41, in this vol-
31 Kingsley, Barbarian Seas 136; Raban, Sebastos, Royal Harbour 115. A connec- ume; Pulak / Ingram / Jones, Byzantine Shipwrecks 39. The existence and strong
tion between the lead clamps and the so-called ἄργυρος χυτός (»liquid silver« impact of the Lycus River on the development of the Theodosian Harbour is
or rather quicksilver), referred by the Late Byzantine historian Pachymeres is also reflected in medieval drawings of Constantinople, such as in the Liber in-
highly questionable and has been rightly doubted by Heher, Harbour of Julian sularum archipelagi by Cristoforo Buondelmonti: Effenberger, Pictorial Sources
60, in this volume. figs 1-2, in this volume.
32 Aydıngün, Excavation Site 17 figs 49-50; Aydıngün / Aydıngün / Öniz, Küçükçek- 39 Kocabaş, Yenikapı Shipwrecks 31 fig. 5; Külzer, Harbour of Theodosius 47-48;
mece 440-441; Ginalis, Byzantine Ports 184, Ill. II.II.48b. Pulak / Ingram / Jones, Byzantine Shipwrecks fig. 3.
33 Ginalis, Anthedon; Schläger / Blackman / Schäfer, Anthedon 47.

Archaeology of the Harbours of Constantinople  |  Alkiviadis Ginalis  ·  Ayşe Ercan Kydonakis 35

but continuous use far into the Late Byzantine period 40. This can observe that the embedded stones are not waste quarry
may be supported, not only by written accounts, but also by stones but whole river stones. These most probably derive
the existence of Late Byzantine kilns, supposedly unearthed from the nearby Lycus River, which emptied into the eastern
in close vicinity to the eastern jetty. Located just northeast of harbour basin 43.
the jetty, the kilns may be related to this very last phase of at The use of construction material from the immediate vi-
least minor harbour activities up to the fifteenth century. A cinity may point to the earliest construction phase and the
further indication for a continuous use even far beyond that foundation of the harbour in the Early Byzantine period. This
is given by the latest archaeological activities of the Istanbul is supported, not only by the shipwreck YK 37 (dated to
Archaeological Museum in the eastern part of the Yalı Mahall- the fifth century) in its immediate vicinity (figs 19-20) 44, but
esi area (at the south-eastern end of the Theodosian harbour also by the implementation of Roman engineering and con-
area) 41. During the archaeological excavations, an approxi- struction techniques using rectangular wooden formworks.
mately 40 m long and 4-5 m wide jetty was uncovered, be- Although no physical remains of caissons were discovered
longing to the very last construction phase at the Theodosian at the western jetty, the gaps between the individual masses
harbour during the Ottoman period 42. Interestingly enough, again clearly indicate the utilisation of such chests. In addition,
the jetty again features a construction system using wooden the colossal dimensions and compactness of the hydraulic
chests filled with a conglomerate of mortar mixed with rubble concrete masses (compared to the eastern jetty) imply a much
stones, which resembles a certain hydraulic concrete mixture. earlier construction date on their own.
Finally, despite its at least partial rededication around the Unfortunately, apart from large stone blocks scattered
twelfth century, similar to the site of Chrysopolis, the con- around the concrete masses, as well as layers of massive
tinuous use of the harbour area far into the Late Byzantine ashlar blocks at the southern front of the jetty, no further
period and even beyond can be seen here as well (see further construction components have been preserved that could
down). This is verified by harbour construction works dating provide any additional indications (fig. 21). As for the south-
as late as the Ottoman period. A 1.95 m wide jetty (Kibotos ern end of the jetty, it should be noted that the ashlar blocks
Iskele) inclining towards the sea can be allocated to these late do not rest continuously on the hydraulic concrete mass (as
harbour works (fig. 16). is the case at the eastern jetty). Instead, they give the im-
The second prominent jetty is located in the western part pression that they are fitted into the washed-out and eroded
of the eastern harbour basin (fig. 2). The roughly 20 m long concrete. This building measure could have aimed for two
structure is in very poor condition compared to its eastern possible purposes: either to stabilize the jetty against the
counterpart despite its massive appearance. Nevertheless, the risk of collapsing; or, more likely, to extend the structure
archaeological remains allow us to reach to firm conclusions further south. As such, the massive ashlar blocks may be
regarding its architecture, its structural composition and thus considered as later additions. A step-like arrangement of the
its chronology. The jetty consists of three preserved solid and ashlar blocks towards a wooden pier (see below) supports this
homogeneous masses (fig. 17). These show a compact con- interpretation. Marble column pieces and a marble impost
glomerate of mortar, mixed with rubble stones and ceramics, block with the monogram of Emperor Justinian I have been
which again resembles a hydraulic concrete mixture. Whether unearthed immediately in front of the jetty (fig. 22), pro-
that comprises Roman pozzolanic mortar or any other vol- viding a terminus ante quem of the mid-sixth century for its
canic ash or other aggregate, has yet to be examined here, erection. Consequently, it may be assumed that the western
too. Despite the apparent visual resemblance to the eastern jetty was erected as early as the end of the fourth century or
jetty, the structural composition of the concrete bears some the beginning of the fifth century and underwent repair or
differences. While the concrete mixture of the eastern jetty extension during the sixth century. This is further supported
shows a high percentage of small to middle-sized rubble by another type of harbour infrastructure: wooden piers 45.
stones and a comparatively low percentage of mortar (fig. 7), Throughout the harbour basin, a large number of wooden
the composition of the western jetty reveals a much higher piles belonging to piers have been brought to light, ranging
percentage of mortar into which middle-sized to large boul- from the fifth to the fifteenth centuries based on dendro-
ders were embedded (fig. 18). On a closer examination, one chronological analysis 46. A great majority of them is oriented

40 See Külzer, Harbour of Theodosius, in this volume; Ercan, Yenikapı 62. 92. 96. provide additional mooring space for ships within the harbour basin. As shown
118; Kocabaş, Theodosian Harbour 32; Magdalino, Maritime Neighbourhoods for example by the late antique to medieval harbour of Olbia, piers were used
215. equally to jetties within harbour areas, leading into the basin at a right angle
41 For further information on the archaeological fieldwork conducted in this area, to the shoreline: Dear / Kemp, Ships and the Sea 427; Ginalis, Byzantine Ports
see Öncü / Çölmekçi, Istanbul Boğazı; Öncü / Çölmekçi, Istanbul Boğazı 2016. 35-37; Kingsley, Barbarian Seas 89-90.
42 Akkemik et al., Dendroprovenancing. 46 Kuniholm et al., Of Harbors and Trees 47; it has to be mentioned that the
43 Ercan, Yenikapı 59 fig. III.2; Külzer, Harbour of Theodosius fig. 4. dating of the wooden remains always refer to the time of their cutting and not
44 YK 37 forms the northernmost wreck find and belongs to the earliest group of necessarily to their immediate use for construction. A certain time period has
vessels retrieved from the Theodosian Harbour: Kocabaş, Yenikapı Shipwrecks obviously to be calculated from the time of cutting the woods, the transport
34 fig. 5. and processing of the material to their use for building activities.
45 Different to permanent solid jetties, the pier forms a structure of timber sup-
ported on wooden piles. Piers were constructed in addition to jetties in order to

36 Archaeology of the Harbours of Constantinople  |  Alkiviadis Ginalis  ·  Ayşe Ercan Kydonakis

in a north-south direction (fig. 23). In line with the distribu- One of the ashlar blocks features a 10 cm wide hole
tion of shipwrecks 47, the earliest pier constructions have been pierced horizontally through the stone, whereas one of
discovered at the northern end of the harbour basin, pointing the inscribed spolia blocks points to a second perforation
to their connection to the harbour’s quay area. According (fig. 29a-b). Rather than interpreting them as being part of
to the analysis of a series of posts, almost all wooden piers a lifting device 56, the holes were intended for the mooring
show multiple phases, which correlate with numerous repairs of ships. Besides vertically projecting bollards, perforated
as well as enlargements (thus reaching total lengths of up to stone blocks or so-called »mooring stones« formed the most
over 40 m) going along with the siltation process towards commonly used device for berthing ships since classical an-
south and southeast 48. The longest-lasting pier with a usage tiquity 57. By piercing the blocks of the quay’s frontal façade,
of over 80 years and three phases of repair / extension (four the mooring device was incorporated into the wall as a single
phases in total) constitutes the so-called »Marmaray İskele 1« architectural unit with the quay.
at the western end of the harbour 49. While the earliest phase As for the dating of the quay line, it has been suggested
dates to around the year AD 527, its latest posts are from that the harbour facilities at the western end belong to the
around the year AD 610. A date around AD 553 is also given earliest construction phase, possibly dating to the initial
for the wooden pier connected to the southern end of the building project of the Theodosian harbour between AD
western jetty (fig. 24) 50. This again provides a terminus ante 390 and 425 58. However, one gets the impression that the
quem of the mid-sixth century for the erection of the western rough and seemingly provisional construction does not reflect
jetty. Simultaneously, dendrochronological analysis attests to a representative installation for an imperial harbour of the
its continuous use up to the ninth century, which is similarly fourth / fifth century – especially given the fact that compara-
confirmed by the nearby shipwrecks YK 27, YK 28 and YK 32, bly large harbour sites, such as Caesarea Maritima, Demetrias,
dated to the seventh to ninth centuries (figs 19-20) 51. Thessalian Thebes, Corinth’s eastern harbour of Lechaion or
At the western end of the harbour basin a further se- Ephesus, show a far more elaborate architecture 59. Prima
ries of harbour installations has been uncovered (figs 3. 25). facie, an earlier construction period significantly preceding
The wealth of different overlapping facilities provides a very the Byzantine era may at first be suggested by the building
complex picture, leading scholars to different interpretations material and the inscribed spolia used 60. On closer examina-
and still puzzling the excavators. Concerning harbour-related tion, however, the construction assembly is of clearly re-used
structures, the most striking feature forms a quayside 52. Due context, which suggests a rather later date. This is in fact
to the limitation of the excavation area, only a total length supported by further excavation works undertaken in the
of 25.50 m could be revealed (fig. 26). The 2.80 m wide Light Rail System area north-west of the Yenikapı site.
quay shows a southwest-northeast orientation and consists Among a series of building remains, which are roughly
mostly of a single row with 1-2 layers of ashlar blocks 53. dated between the sixth / seventh and the ninth century, a
The latter, however, are not comprised of standardised or 13 m long and 3 m wide structure has been unearthed 61.
uniform construction material, but rather randomly ar- Running in an east-west direction parallel to the Theodosian
ranged, 2.75 m × 1.35 m large stones. Interestingly enough, harbour and extended by wooden piles suggests an identifi-
these stones represent almost exclusively re-used material cation as a jetty with a pier projection belonging to a further
of bossage and local dressed stone slabs (fig. 27). The com- harbour infrastructure. Whether its preserved part is sitting
pilation of re-used stone material is supported by the use of on a hydraulic concrete foundation within wooden caissons
two inscribed spolia blocks (figs 28-29a) 54. Similar to the is not known to the authors. The partly destroyed jetty shows
extension of the eastern jetty (see above), again no mortar a solid architecture consisting of ashlar blocks with mortar
binding was used, and the blocks are only loosely placed on binding and a flat surface covered by a thick concrete layer
the ground and on top of each other 55. (fig. 29c). Hence, it is more reminiscent of the elaborate and

47 Kocabaş, Yenikapı Shipwrecks fig. 5. 55 Ibid.; Kocabaş, Theodosian Harbour 25.

48 Gökçay, Architectural Finds 168. 176; Kuniholm et al., Of Harbors and Trees 56 Kocabaş, Theodosian Harbour 25.
58-63. 66-77; Pearson et al., Dendroarchaeology 3407 fig. 8. 57 For mooring devices see Blackman, Bollards 115-122; Ginalis, Byzantine Ports
49 Gökçay, Architectural Finds 168; Kuniholm et al., Of Harbors and Trees 67; 38-43.
Pearson et al., Dendroarchaeology 3408. 58 Gökçay, Architectural Finds 170; Külzer, Harbour of Theodosius 39, in this vol-
50 Pearson et al., Dendroarchaeology tab. 1. ume.
51 Kocabaş, Yenikapı Shipwrecks 21. 23 fig. 5; Kuniholm et al., Of Harbors and 59 Ginalis, Byzantine Ports 162-193; Kingsley, Barbarian Seas 132-138; Külzer,
Trees 61; Pearson et al., Dendroarchaeology; Külzer, Harbour of Theodosius 46, Ephesos 49-57; Paris, Lechaion; Rothaus, Lechaion; Steskal, Ephesos; https://
in this volume.
52 A quay forms a projection along the shoreline of the harbour, usually con- ies-in-greece-reveal-ancient-roman-engineering (accessed 8 July 2019).
structed of stone masonry. The solid structure constitutes the main facility for 60 The incorporated inscribed spolia blocks provide a terminus post quem of the
the accommodation of ships to load and unload cargo or embark and disem- Roman Republican period for the erection of the quayside. While Gökçay dates
bark passengers: Dear / Kemp, Ships and the Sea 450; Ginalis, Byzantine Ports the incorporated inscribed spolia blocks to the 4th c. BC, Ercan suggests a date
32-34. between the third and the second centuries BC: Ercan, Yenikapı 120; Gökçay,
53 Ercan, Yenikapı 120; Gökçay, Architectural Finds 170; Kocabaş, Theodosian Architectural Finds 170.
Harbour 25. 61 Kızıltan, İstanbul Kazıları 362.
54 Ercan, Yenikapı 120; Gökçay, Architectural Finds 170.

Archaeology of the Harbours of Constantinople  |  Alkiviadis Ginalis  ·  Ayşe Ercan Kydonakis 37

representative architecture of imperial harbour installations such scale and significance, the construction of the granaries
than the quay facility described above. Its location north of on the island of Tenedos under the reign of Emperor Justin-
the maritime circuit wall enclosing the Theodosian harbour ian I must have had quite an impact on the harbour activities
basin (see further down) implicates the existence of a har- and hence the required infrastructures and harbour installa-
bour site prior to the foundation of the Theodosian harbour. tions 67. Thus, although a late fifth century date or the reigns
As such, a date to the fourth century or even earlier may be of Justinian’s immediate predecessors, Emperor Anastasius I
suggested 62. (491-518) and Justin I (518-527) are equally conceivable for
Accordingly, the shoreline along the Sea of Marmara must its erection, the wooden remains of the pier show a perfect
have possessed permanent harbour facilities as early as the match with that of Justinianic sites such as Capidava 68. As
Roman and possibly the Hellenistic period as shown by the such, the construction of the quayside has most likely been
inscribed spolia from the quay line. Harbour activities prior implemented as part of the extensive building programme
to the Byzantine era are indeed attested by a large number during the reign of Justinian himself.
of trading goods and other archaeological objects found The last phase of the wooden pier »Marmaray İskele 1«
throughout the harbour basin 63. If that should indeed be the shows a continuous use of the western harbour basin at
case, contrary to the general perception, the shoreline must least up to the mid-seventh century. This is supported by the
have been quite different as late as the fourth century. This shipwreck YK 11, which was unearthed in close vicinity to the
goes along with Mango’s suggestion of a much deeper bay, eastern end of the wooden pier (fig. 19) 69. However, the con-
which had only gradually been filled in due to the siltation by dition of the ship’s hull points to its abandonment in shallow
the Lycus river, as well as the continuous land reclamation for water. As such, at the time of its dereliction at some point
the shaping of the new capital under the reign of emperor during the seventh century, the western harbour basin must
Constantine I and his successors 64. have already suffered from heavy siltation by the Lycus River.
The jetty and its associated pier construction as well as Additionally, due to different environmental effects such
the gradual transformation of the coastline provide a rough as earthquakes during the sixth century, a sudden altera-
terminus post quem for the construction of the quayside, tion of the coastline, which, along with the siltation by the
but the question of its exact date remains. In this regard, the river Lycus, led the harbour basin to become shallower, may
above-mentioned wooden pier »Marmaray İskele 1« may have required the shift of harbour infrastructures or even
shed further light on its historical placement. Running from the construction of new facilities 70. This correlates well with
the quay in a bow towards the southeast, the 43.5 m long the building activities in the eastern harbour basin discussed
wooden pier is immediately associated with the coastal fa- above, as well as further historically documented harbour
cility. With its four construction phases ranging roughly be- works such as the construction of the eastern jetty or the
tween the years shortly after AD 527 and 610 65, it provides repair and extension of the sea walls around the harbour at
a terminus ante quem of the first half of the sixth century for the turn of the seventh to the eighth centuries.
the construction of the quay. To its west, the quayside is confined by a breakwater of
As a matter of fact, despite the potentially large time 20 m length, aligning on a northwest-southeast direction
frame between the Hellenistic, Roman and Early Byzantine (fig. 30) 71. Similar to the quay line, unfortunately it could
periods, a sixth century date appears to be likely. Considering not be uncovered in its entirety. Thus, its structural and func-
the extensive building activities under the reign of Emperor tional characteristics can no longer be reconstructed with
Justinian I, which included the construction of harbour sites certainty. However, some technical and architectural conclu-
according to Procopius 66, it is conceivable that the Theodo- sions can still be drawn. Reaching up to the surface of the
sian harbour underwent some repair or perhaps extension as quay, the breakwater must have protruded from the surface
well. Although no literary sources refer to any public work of of the sea (fig. 31) 72. Consequently, it can be identified as of

62 The authors hope that more detailed information on the jetty and its pier pro- YK 11 wreck has been identified as a local cargo vessel for coastal shipping.
jection will be disclosed and published in future by the Istanbul Archaeological Hence, it might form the link between the quayside and the harbour activities
Museum. at the western harbour basin of the Theodosian Harbour and the granaries on
63 Asal, Yenikapı excavations 7; Ercan, Yenikapı 58; Külzer, Harbour of Theodosius the island of Tenedos: Külzer, Harbour of Theodosius 39 n. 48, in this volume.
37, in this volume; Öncü, Greek-Roman period. 70 Ercan, Yenikapı 106; Guidoboni, Earthquakes 292-295; Külzer, Harbour of The-
64 Mango, Shoreline 20-21 fig. 1. odosius 39, in this volume.
65 Kuniholm et al., Of Harbors and Trees 67-68 fig. 6; it has again to be made 71 Ercan, Yenikapı 86. 135; Gökçay, Architectural Finds 170-171. A breakwa-
aware that the dating of the wooden remains always refer to the time of their ter forms an artificially placed construction, which provides protection to un-
cutting and not necessarily to their immediate use. sheltered harbour sites against the prevailing strong sea waves, currents and
66 Prokopios, De Aedificiis I 8. 1-9 and I 11. 16-20 (IV 33-34. 43-44 Haury / Wirth); tides. By breaking the force of the sea, it assured a safe anchorage for ships:
Ercan, Yenikapı 48. 50. 125; Hohlfelder, Building Harbours 369. Dear / Kemp, Ships and the Sea 65; Ginalis, Byzantine Ports 26; Feuser, Hafen-
67 Prokopios, De Aedificiis V 1. 7-16 (IV 150-152 Haury / Wirth); Koder, Aigaion städte 229-230.
Pelagos 287-291; Külzer, Harbour of Theodosius 39, in this volume; Müller, 72 Whether the height of its projection from the water allowed waves to break
Getreide 5-11. over it in order to prevent siltation by creating controlled currents within the
68 Kuniholm et al., Of Harbors and Trees 67-68 fig. 6. harbour basin, remains unanswered. The erection of sea walls points to the
69 Pulak / Ingram / Jones, Byzantine Shipwrecks 47-50. Due to its small dimension absence of an effective de-silting measure, which resulted in an even faster
(with a documented length of 9 m and a width of 3 m), the likewise 7th-cent. siltation of the harbour basin (see below).

38 Archaeology of the Harbours of Constantinople  |  Alkiviadis Ginalis  ·  Ayşe Ercan Kydonakis

type »Mound Breakwater« 73. Typically for a mound-formed (fig. 31). Consequently, contrary to the interpretation of the
type, the breakwater consists of two different construction excavators, the quay provides a terminus post quem of the
parts: one internal and one external. Built in cross-sections, late fifth to early sixth century for the construction of the
it started from the core to the outer protective covering. The breakwater and thus also for its wall superstructure. A sixth
core comprises a mixture of debris or soil with small stones in century date is also supported by its neighbouring Harbour
order to gain maximum compactness, whereas the external of Julian / Sophia (later the Kontoskalion Harbour), for which
part consists mainly of larger quarry stones. the construction of a breakwater under the reign of Emperor
The purpose of the external part was mainly to prevent the Anastasius I (491-518) is attested 77 (fig. 33).
movement and washing out of the internal rubble material. As for the wall superstructure, according to the excavators
According to the stone size used for the core part as well as it is supposed to belong to the Theodosian sea wall, forming
the thickness of the outer covering, sometimes a second layer its extension along the breakwater 78. However, taking into ac-
of stones was required to cover the whole mound 74. This, count the proposed dating limit by its breakwater foundation,
however, cannot be verified here. Its efficiency and stability together with further construction measures to the north and
depended, not only on the size of the feature, the thickness west of the harbour facilities 79, a date after the mid-sixth
of the stones and the weight of the composition, but also on century should be considered. On closer examination, this
the gradient of the slope. The slope provided stability for the wall seems indeed to be architecturally slightly different to the
construction material by preventing possible undermining by Theodosian walls surrounding the city. The Theodosian walls
the sea. The gradient of the slope differs between the inner are constructed with a core of mortar faced with carefully
and the outer part of the breakwater. While the inner part cut limestone blocks and regular bands of brick 80. Although
(the side towards the harbour basin) drops quite abruptly the wall on the breakwater consists of successive courses of
with a steep vertical angle, similar to the breakwater at the ashlar blocks with traces of brick bands that recall the Theo-
harbour of Chrysopolis at Üsküdar (see below), the outer dosian walls, it shows a much simpler and irregular construc-
part (the side towards the open sea) probably possessed a tion with building material comprising small to medium-sized
gentle inclination, which must have started nearly from the stone blocks and spolia (fig. 30).
middle of the structure. This provided the construction with Whether the erection of the breakwater and that of its
the necessary stability against the strong winds and absorbed wall superstructure are to be dated to the same period re-
the force of the waves from the open sea. Beyond its struc- mains speculative. This question is closely related to the yet
tural composition, the breakwater shows residues of mortar unexplained function of a series of holes drilled below the
(most probably again a certain type of hydraulic concrete) wall in an east-west direction. This continuous row of holes
encrusted with the rubble filling of the breakwater’s external would appear to indicate that wooden beams connected
section. This forms a compact mass, which probably acted as the breakwater conglomerate to the superstructure (figs 30.
reinforcing binding material for the weight of any superstruc- 32) 81. Traces of mortar coating suggest that at least the lower
ture 75. Indeed, a wide flat surface follows the steep-angled part of the wall and the holes were plastered. This would
inner edge, which supports a wall 2.3 m high and 1.35 m have protected the wooden features, which easily deform,
wide (figs 26. 30. 32) 76. swell or decompose when in contact with water. Unfortu-
Concerning the construction date of the breakwater, it has nately, it is still unknown whether the drilled wooden beams
to be noted that the chronological determination of break- were only intended to provide greater stability for the wall
waters turns out to be difficult, since they pertain to a type of or whether they functioned as connecting elements for the
construction that has remained architecturally unchanged for mortar binding. From an engineering perspective, however,
millennia. As such, a relatively accurate dating often relies on this building measure is probably best explained as a binding
constructional details, as well as on associated buildings and element for a later, additional construction.
archaeological finds, respectively. While its structural char- Consequently, it can be suggested that the two features
acteristics and the use of mortar (hydraulic concrete) allow most likely belong to different construction phases. This argu-
a time frame between the Roman Imperial and the Middle ment is supported by a short stretch of further wall just west
Byzantine periods, the fact that the breakwater is stratigraph- of the sea wall (figs 25-26). Despite a slightly different orien-
ically overlapping the quay is certainly decisive for its dating tation, these wall remnants may represent a potential sea wall

73 For the construction and typology of breakwaters, see Cornick, Engineering later by the harbour reconstruction of Müller-Wiener: Effenberger, Pictorial
116. 118 ff; Ginalis, Byzantine Ports 26-31. Sources figs 2. 4, in this volume; Heher, Harbour of Julian fig. 7; Müller-Wie-
74 Ginalis, Byzantine Ports 28, Ill I.7a, vol. II. ner, Häfen 37.
75 Gökçay, Architectural Finds 170. 78 Gökçay, Architectural Finds 170; Kocabaş, Theodosian Harbour 25.
76 Gökçay, Architectural Finds 172. 79 Some wall remains of the building complex associated with the harbour instal-
77 Heher, Harbour of Julian 52, in this volume. It should be mentioned that Heher lation revealed stamped bricks dated to the 6th c. in situ: Ercan, Yenikapı 114.
wrongly agrees with van Millingen, Walls 291. 294 in the interpretation of the 80 For the Theodosian walls of Constantinople, see Asutay-Effenberger, Land-
construction works as a mole. The term προβόλους should rather be inter- mauer 13-71; Mango / Kiefer / Loerke, Monuments 519-520; Turnbell, Walls;
preted as breakwater (see also προβόλιον and προβάλλω in LSJ 1470. 1472). van Millingen, Walls.
This is verified by Cristoforo Buondelmonti’s depiction of the harbour and 81 Gökçay, Architectural Finds 171.

Archaeology of the Harbours of Constantinople  |  Alkiviadis Ginalis  ·  Ayşe Ercan Kydonakis 39

as well, belonging to the initial phase of the breakwater and of the fifth centuries, were erected along the northern coast
thus predating the sea wall discussed above. These eventually of the harbour basin just west of the outlet of the Lycus River
served as a supporting structure for the later sea wall with its (fig. 3). These include a jetty (the western jetty) and wooden
buttresses that is visible today (fig. 26). Consequently, it can piers. The wreck finds of YK 22, YK 26, YK 34, YK 35 and
be proposed that the breakwater initially carried a different YK 37 (figs 2. 19-20), together with stamped bricks dumped
sea wall, which was erected, together with its substructure, next to the piers (fig. 35), attest to the loading and unloading
probably around the sixth century (either together with the of traded goods as early as the fifth century 86.
quay or slightly later). Subsequently, it must have been re- Based on the distribution of commercial installations listed
placed by the above-discussed sea wall at some later point, in the fifth-century Notitia urbis Constantinopolitanae 87, it
postdating the entire building complex. According to written can be assumed that some harbour infrastructure may also
accounts, the sea walls supposedly underwent repairs either have existed east of the river estuary (fig. 36). Accordingly,
during the reign of Tiberius II (698-705) or Anastasius II (713- granaries (so-called Horrea) and marketplaces (so-called Fora)
715) 82. in its northern and eastern periphery, such as the Horrea Al-
In fact, an identical building activity with identical con- exandrina, the Horrea Theodosiana, the Forum of Theodosius
struction phases can be observed at the Byzantine harbour of or the Forum of Amastrianus, show a close connection to the
Thessaloniki, where rescue excavations unearthed a section of Harbour of Theodosius 88. Although the grooved ashlar blocks
the sea wall with successive courses of ashlar blocks having on the eastern jetty may have belonged to a potential quay
traces of brick bands and buttresses 83. Similar to its equivalent structure along the eastern end of the harbour, further phys-
at the Theodosian harbour, based on the archaeological anal- ical remains of harbour facilities have yet to be discovered.
ysis and the written account of Caminiates, at least two major Concerning the western harbour basin, the current state of
construction phases have been determined for the Byzantine archaeological knowledge suggests that no harbour installa-
era 84. While it is suggested that the earlier one is dated to tion existed at that time.
the Early Byzantine period, the following construction phase However, the pre-Byzantine building material of the west-
has to be placed at some point between the mid-seventh and ern quayside allows the assumption that an earlier harbour
the second half of the ninth centuries. Hence, similar to the site, possibly from the Hellenistic or Roman periods, may
inner circuit walls enclosing the harbour basin of the Theo- have existed. If so, this must have been situated slightly far-
dosian harbour (fig. 34), a construction date at the turn of ther north or north-west and was later dismantled for the
the seventh to the eighth centuries, may also be considered construction of the new quayside in the Early Byzantine pe-
for the later sea wall 85. However, only a closer investigation riod. Whether its facilities had been in use until the reign of
of the building material at both harbour sites, such as the Emperor Constantine I (306-337) remains unknown for the
mortar filling or the incorporated bricks, will provide accurate time being.
dating information. A wall, approximately 54 m long and 4.40 m wide, was un-
In conclusion, the archaeological excavations at Yenikapı earthed just north-west of the quay and breakwater (figs 26.
revealed a nearly complete historical sequence of human 37). Running beneath the sea wall discussed above, the exca-
activities in the Theodosian harbour, ranging from its foun- vators speculated that this 1.9 m high wall fragment formed
dation in the late fourth or early fifth centuries (if not al- the southern limit of the so-called »Constantinian« wall 89.
ready from the pre-Byzantine era) up to its final rededication The latter reached the shoreline of the Sea of Marmara further
in the fifteenth century. This provides not only information west, implying that a certain section of the wall ran along
on traded goods and artefacts in daily life, but also much the coast. According to Mango, however, the sea walls could
sought-after information on shipbuilding traditions, as well hardly have existed under the reign of Constantine I due to
as on harbour installations and their architecture from Late the steady change of the coastline, as well as the continuous
Antiquity to the Late Middle Ages. Interestingly, as far as the land reclamation of the deep bay (which later became the
physical remains of coastal facilities are concerned, they nicely Harbour of Theodosius) up until the very end of the fourth
demonstrate the evolution of harbour activities. The earliest century 90. Only by AD 439, at the earliest, the construction
infrastructures, which belong to the first construction phase of maritime circuit walls was finally ordered. At any rate, it
of the harbour around the end of the fourth or the beginning seems that new harbour construction works on this shore

82 Külzer, Harbour of Theodosius 40; Müller-Wiener, Bildlexikon 313. 87 Notitia Urbis Constantinopolitanae 237. 239 (Seeck); Mundell Mango, Com-
83 Leivadioti, Thessaloniki 87, Eικ. 49α-β. mercial Map.
84 Kameniates, De expugnatione VIII 3 (9 Böhlig); ibid. 22-25. It should further 88 Ercan, Yenikapı 21. 59. 65. 78; Heher, Harbour of Julian 52, in this volume;
be noted that pre-Byzantine building remains have been discovered as well, Külzer, Harbour of Theodosius 39, in this volume; Mundell Mango, Commercial
indicating an earlier construction phase dating to the Roman period: Leivadioti, Map 192-193 fig. 4.
Thessaloniki 20-21. 89 Ercan, Yenikapı 110-111; Gökçay, Architectural Finds 172.
85 Dark, Post Office Site 318; Külzer, Harbour of Theodosius 40; Mango, Shoreline 90 Mango, Shoreline 18-24; Many scholars accept the fact that the majority of
24-25; Müller-Wiener, Häfen 9. the buildings attributed to Constantine I could not have been completed under
86 Ercan, Yenikapı 115-116; Külzer, Harbour of Theodosius 45-46. his reign, but during the reign of his son Constantius II. The wall discussion
basically relates to this debate: Magdalino, Maritime Neighbourhoods.

40 Archaeology of the Harbours of Constantinople  |  Alkiviadis Ginalis  ·  Ayşe Ercan Kydonakis

were not undertaken at least before the end of the fifth towards the south by the end of the twelfth century, at the
century. latest, eventually required further building measures at the
Consequently, the Harbour of Theodosius was probably eastern end of the eastern harbour basin in order to reach the
extended towards the west at the time of the »reconquest« necessary draught for docking vessels. However, the exten-
and annexation of North Africa under the reign of Emperor sion of the eastern jetty towards the south shows that these
Justinian  I, which opened new markets and trading con- may no longer have comprised major and elaborate harbour
nections for Constantinople. It must have been that time constructions. While the wreck sites attest to the use of the
when the previous harbour installation was abandoned and Harbour of Theodosius only up until the end of the Middle
eventually partly removed to be used for the construction of Byzantine period, some Late Byzantine kilns, together with
the new quayside 91. Therefore, it is in the sixth century that written sources and depictions, point to minor harbour activ-
the Harbour of Theodosius, not only experienced its most ities up to the fifteenth century 96.
prosperous time, but also seems to have reached its largest Finally, based on the archaeological study of the Harbour
extent and final face. of Theodosius, a very last observation is worth mentioning.
The use of the entire harbour area did not last for long. The above-discussed constant siltation process of the harbour
The last phase of the wooden pier »Marmaray Iskele 1«, basin is not just associated with the Lycus River and a series of
together with the shipwreck YK 11, demonstrate that the other environmental effects, as well as human impact (e. g.,
western harbour basin remained in use only until the end of by dumping waste material into the harbour). Additionally,
the seventh century or beginning of the eighth century. This sea currents passing through the harbour mouth had a con-
was caused by the Lycus River and a series of other environ- siderable effect. Consequently, the unequivocal west-east
mental effects, which led to a slow but constant siltation of shift of the siltation process is closely related to the angle of
the harbour basin. The archaeological data obtained from the the confluence between the incoming currents and the river
harbour installations, as well as the distribution and dating outflow (fig. 38). Thus, the position and direction of the
of the wreck finds, show that the siltation process took place harbour mouth must have played a decisive role.
from west to east 92. Accordingly, this may provide an indication for a potential
Due to the loss of Egypt, Palestine and Syria to the Arabs reconstruction of the orientation of the breakwaters and its
in the seventh century, it was obviously no longer necessary sea wall superstructures. Most recent harbour reconstructions
to use the harbour at full capacity 93. Therefore, in contrast to suggest two equal breakwaters with a centrally located har-
the neighbouring Harbour of Julian / Sophia 94, costly dredging bour entrance in an eastern orientated direction (fig. 39) 97. In
works were not undertaken. Despite the reduction in the size order to perform the west-east effect on the siltation process,
of the harbour area and thus also the restriction of harbour the harbour entrance must have been located on the eastern
activities, the Harbour of Theodosius continued to be a major side (fig. 40). This is also indicated by the different courses
hub for maritime trade throughout the Middle Byzantine pe- of the two breakwaters. Based on the aforementioned re-
riod. The consequences of the Arab conquest of Egypt, which construction models, the western breakwater ran in a more
was the breadbasket of Constantinople, eventually entailed or less straight east-west direction, whereas the eastern one
the reconfirmation of Byzantine authority over the Greek showed first a clearly north-south orientation before turning
peninsula in the second half of the seventh century 95. Thus, west where it continued to the centre of the harbour basin.
while the facilities at the western end of the harbour were In line with Mango’s and Janin’s suggestions 98, it should
abandoned after all, new infrastructure was constructed in rather be assumed that only one long western breakwater
the eastern harbour basin. Accordingly, in order to meet the existed, which formed a large eastern harbour entrance. The
new requirements, a massive eastern jetty was constructed in use of a single breakwater is supported by historical depic-
close vicinity to the newly renamed granary of Lamia at the tions, such as Buondelmonti’s drawing of Constantinople in
turn of the seventh to the eighth centuries. his Liber insularum archipelagi, and also by the Byzantine
At some point after the ninth century, the siltation process harbour of Thessaloniki 99. In fact, the same building tech-
reached the eastern harbour basin with the water depth nique can also be seen in photographs of the other harbour
constantly dropping. The retreat of the navigable sea level sites along the coast of the Sea of Marmara, the Harbour

91 The re-use of construction material from preceeding harbour installations is also Magdalino, Maritime Neighbourhoods 215. Although it is beyond the scope of
suggested for the harbour of Thessaloniki: Leivadioti, Thessaloniki 21. this article, it is important to note that at an elevation nearly equal to the later
92 Ercan, Yenikapı 135; Külzer, Harbour of Theodosius 41, in this volume. kilns, a small church was constructed to the southeast of the jetty possibly after
93 Of course, one should not ignore the impact of the decline in population due the 10th or 11th c. For the archaeological analysis of the church and the theory
to famine and pestilence: Stathakopoulos, Famine and Pestilence. about its abandonment in the 13th c., see Gökçay, Architectural Finds 166-180;
94 Heher, Harbour of Julian 52-53, in this volume. Ercan, Yenikapı 80-82; Marinis, Architecture 208.
95 Ginalis, Byzantine Ports 238-239; Trombley, Boeotia 991-992. Contrary: 97 Berger, Langa Bostanı figs 1-4; (5
Koder / Hild, Hellas und Thessalia; Lilie, »Thrakien« und »Thrakesion« 35-41; February 2020).
Haldon, Palgrave Atlas. – For the Arab conquests see: Kaegi, Early Islamic Con- 98 Janin, Constantinople Map 1; Mango, Shoreline fig. 1.
quests. 99 Effenberger, Pictorial Sources figs 1-2, in this volume; Leivadioti, Thessaloniki
96 Effenberger, Pictorial Sources 20 fig. 1, in this volume; Ercan, Yenikapı 62. 92. Σχεδ. 2.
96. 118; Kocabaş, Theodosian Harbour 32; Külzer, Theodosius-Hafen 41-42;

Archaeology of the Harbours of Constantinople  |  Alkiviadis Ginalis  ·  Ayşe Ercan Kydonakis 41

of Julian / Sophia, the Boukoleon harbour and the mooring sites, an earlier date of the Roman, if not even Hellenistic,
areas at Hebdomon (modern Bakırköy) and Brachialion (see period may equally be suggested.
below) 100. Similar data has been revealed by the Sirkeci Station Res-
Interestingly, all the harbours along the Sea of Marmara cue Excavation between 2004 and 2012. Just as Dark sug-
coast obviously possessed one single breakwater coming gested for the site at the new post office, a large building
from the west. Exactly the same orientation of entrances is complex of the fifth to seventh centuries was documented
also shown by the siting of the modern harbours. All the har- at the eastern shaft of the Sirkeci Metro Station (north of
bour sites facing the Sea of Marmara possess just one single the train station) 108. After removing the Early Byzantine
breakwater coming from the west, thus forming an eastern strata, however, wooden structures and so-called »water-
harbour entrance. With a southeast to east direction, they front stones« were revealed 109. Together with wooden ships
enclose and protect the harbour basins against the prevailing remains, these seem to belong to the harbour facility of the
south-western and southern winds 101. At the same time, the Prosphorion harbour itself. Unfortunately, no further data
south-eastern to eastern currents must have made entrance has yet been published, which could provide more detailed
into the harbour basins easier and also acted as a natural information. Only a single photograph offers a first glimpse
measure against their siltation during the Byzantine era. of the so-called »waterfront stones« after all.
It shows a semi-circular three-levelled row of stones, which
can be identified as a quayside (fig. 41). Each row is offset by
Further Remarks on the Physical Remains around 20 cm and consist of roughly 1.20 m × 0.90 m large
of the Harbours of Constantinople ashlar blocks. Among the almost uniform rectangular ashlar,
and its Hinterland at least two stone blocks possess lifting bosses for their place-
ment on site. Such construction measures are mostly known
Regarding the physical remains of harbour installations at from harbour sites of the Hellenistic period like the harbour
other coastal sites in Constantinople, archaeological inves- of Amathus on Cyprus 110. Archaeological finds dating as early
tigations were recently carried out at the harbours of Chal- as the seventh century BC have indeed been documented
cedon at Kadıköy and that of Neorion / Prosphorion 102 at during the rescue excavation. However, since the quay line
Sirkeci 103. While the salvage excavation at Kadıköy supposedly only includes a very small number of stone blocks with lifting
revealed the remains of a jetty using a hydraulic concrete bosses, which also seem to have been placed randomly, it
base similar to that found at the Harbour of Theodosius and can be assumed that these form reused material from a pos-
Chrysopolis, a number of architectural elements and plenty of sible earlier harbour installation. The fact that metal clamps
pottery finds belonging to the Early to Late Byzantine periods characteristic for classical antiquity are missing as well further
were brought to light at Sirkeci. These architectural elements supports a post-Hellenistic date. On the other hand, no mor-
comprise wooden structures, possibly connected with the tar binding material seems to have been used either, which
harbour’s surrounding warehouse facilities 104. gives the quay construction an isodomic character. As such,
Within the archaeological context of the wider harbour given the use of hydraulic concrete for the Early Byzantine
bay, an eyewitness report by Charles Marling from 1906 harbour facilities at Yenikapı, a date to the Roman period may
provides vague but important information on further har- rather be suggested. This is also indicated by its architectural
bour features within the Neorion / Prosphorion Harbour 105. characteristics, with the three-stepped construction method
According to his letter to Arthur B. Skinner, he observed a finding parallels both in Hellenistic and Roman harbours such
row of stone blocks of around 1 m in dimension during rescue as Mytilene, Leptis Magna or the river quay of the Tiber in
excavations at the new post office south-east of the Ottoman Rome 111. Finally, remains of two marble columns can be ob-
Spice Bazaar, which he interpreted as a quay structure 106. The served just next to the quayside. Although they seem to be
method of construction, the use of building material and of later, possibly even Early Byzantine date, they appear to be
geological and ceramic evidence led Dark to support an Early aligned with the quay. As such, the columns either belonged
Byzantine (fourth to seventh centuries) date 107. In fact, con- to an associated building, or formed mooring facilities for
sidering the characteristics of quay structures at other harbour berthing ships.

100 Heher, Harbour of Julian 54. 63-64, in this volume; Heher, Bukoleon 67 fig. 5, 105 Kislinger, Neorion 93. 95 fig. 2; Dark, Post Office Site 315.
in this volume; Simeonov, Hebdomon 127, in this volume; Simeonov, Brachi- 106 Unfortunately, the archaeological structure has never been published.
alion 139, in this volume. 107 Dark, Post Office Site 317-318.
101 Heher, Boukoleonhafen 133. 108 Gür, Rescue Excavations 17; Gür / Emre, Sirkeci 32-33.
102 The division of the wider bay along the northern coast of the peninsula and 109 The architectural interpretation of the remains will be subject of examination
hence the exact location and separation of the two harbours is still uncertain: by K. Gür within the scope of an ongoing doctoral dissertation at Istanbul
Kislinger, Neorion, in this volume; Dark, Harbours 153-154; Dark, Post Office Technical University. For preliminary results, see Gür, Rescue Excavations 16-
Site 317. 17; Gür / Emre, Sirkeci 32-33; Kızıltan, İstanbul Kazıları 364.
103 Kızıltan, Yenikapı, Sirkeci and Üsküdar 15-16. The archaeological works at 110 Empereur et al., Amathus 62-65.
Kadıköy have not yet been published. 111 Blackman, Ancient Harbours II 203 fig. 11; Ginalis, Byzantine Ports 34. 40;
104 See Mundell Mango, Commercial Map 200-201 fig. 4; Kislinger, Neorion 94 Theodoulou / Kourtzellis, Lesbos Underwater 97. 99.
n. 42, in this volume.

42 Archaeology of the Harbours of Constantinople  |  Alkiviadis Ginalis  ·  Ayşe Ercan Kydonakis

Whether the harbour structures unearthed at the Sirkeci ceramic finds and the sea walls in this section, which show a
Station and those observed by Charles Marling during the construction phase of the sixth century 115. The photographic
rescue excavations at the new post office belong to the same documentation of the harbour mainly includes a quayside
harbour installation remains unclear. Considering the almost at the eastern end of the harbour (fig. 45) that runs in front
identical dimensions given for the stone blocks, it is quite of Justinian’s house (leading from the grand staircase to the
feasible to assume it though. Far more convincing that the lighthouse tower) (fig. 46). Fortunately, the high quality of
two sites may actually reflect parts of the eastern and western Mamboury and Wiegand’s photographic record still allows
areas of one and the same infrastructure is their distance of a clear recognition of the quay structure. Accordingly, it is
only 300 m as well as their identical height in relation to the clearly visible that it consisted of massive limestone ashlar and
shoreline 112. large marble blocks (0.6 m × 0.7 m), according to Mamboury
However, it is entirely possible that one belongs to the and Wiegand having a total width of at least 6 m and at the
Neorion and the other to the Prosphorion harbour as well. grand staircase even up to 12 m 116.
Whatsoever, permanent harbour infrastructures at the Ne- On closer examination, it can be observed that not all of
orion / Prosphorion Harbour can be traced back at least to the blocks show an identical orientation. While the quay is
Hellenistic times with the current facility most likely repre- seemingly constructed of rows of east-west-running stone
senting the Roman phase by reusing material from the earlier blocks, north-south-running rows of ashlar were inserted
harbour installation. A continuous use of both quay lines up at regular intervals (figs 47-48). This gives the impression
to the Byzantine era has yet to be ascertained but seems likely. of a chamber system, among others strongly resembling
In any event, as one of the most important and most fre- the quaysides of the harbours of Anthedon and Larymna
quented harbours of Constantinople, the detailed analysis of (see below) 117. The chambers must have been filled with a
the harbour remains of Neorion / Prosphorion as well as that type of hydraulic concrete, consisting of a conglomerate of
of Chalcedon will provide new ground-breaking information rubble stones and mortar with inclusions of coarse ceramic.
for harbour studies of the pre-Byzantine, Early Byzantine and These were subsequently covered with the limestone ashlar
Late Byzantine periods. blocks and with marble blocks around the grand staircase,
For the rest of the Constantinopolitan harbours, infor- as this has been nicely reconstructed by Helbert (fig. 49) 118.
mation is even more limited. In the case of the Harbour of Anna Komnene claimed that the harbour had been built
Julian / Sophia, the sources of information comprise only spo- using mortared fieldstones and marble blocks 119. This is also
radic and rough drawings 113. For the Harbour of Julian / So- indicated by Mamboury and Wiegand’s report of large lime-
phia (fig. 33), as well as for the mooring areas at Hebdomon stone blocks, quarry stones and brick mortar 120. Recent core
at Bakırköy (fig. 42) and Brachialion at Mermer Kule (fig. 43), drillings in front of Justinian’s house and the southeast cor-
one can rely at least on a few photographs. Nevertheless, ner of the grand staircase further attested this construction
the drawings and photographs generally provide only rough method 121. At a depth of approximately 3.75-4.8 m, the
impressions of the various harbour infrastructures. The only latter revealed an artificial conglomerate of clayey sand with
exceptions are the harbours of the Boukoleon Palace and brick and stone, as well as marble fragments. This is fol-
Chrysopolis at Üsküdar. lowed by a stratum of mudstone, made of dark grey stones
between 4.8 m and 6.9 m, and finally a layer of brown-grey
gravel / rubble stones and clayey sand with brick inclusions
The Boukoleon Harbour down to a depth of 10 m. While the top layer (approximately
1 m thick) obviously represents the cover plates of ashlar and
The intensive studies of the Boukoleon Palace and its sur- marble blocks with their mortar binding, the following lay-
rounding sea walls entailed a more detailed photographic ers most likely form the compact mortar filling of the quay
documentation of at least part of its harbour facilities (fig. 44). chambers.
As for the latter, Heher rightly assumes that, with the exten- Similar structural remains have also been documented
sion of the Great Palace towards the south, the first mooring around 50 m east of the so-called Tower of Belisarius and
facilities must have existed as early as the time of Emperor 40 m south of the façade of the western palace section
Justinian I 114. This is supported by Procopius’ reference to the (fig. 46). Mamboury and Wiegand referred to an »isolated
anchoring of Belisarius in front of the palace, as well as by foundation of quarry stones with brick mortar, followed by

112 Kislinger, Neorion 93 fig. 2, in this volume. 118 The marble blocks have most likely been re-used, as this is the case also for
113 See Heher, Harbour of Julian figs 2. 7. 9, in this volume. the use of marble spolia for the construction of the sea wall’s lower section:
114 See Heher, Harbour of the Bukoleon 70-71; Heher, Boukoleonhafen 123. 125. Mango, Boukoleon 47.
115 Prokopios, Bella III 12. 2 (I 365 Haury / Wirth); Heher, Harbour of the Bou- 119 Heher, Boukoleonhafen 133; Heher, Harbour of the Bukoleon 80.
koleon 71, in this volume; Özgümüş, Bukoleon 66. 120 Mamboury / Wiegand, Kaiserpaläste 6. 13.
116 Mamboury / Wiegand, Kaiserpaläste 13. 121 Bolognesi Recchi Franceschini, Monumental Itinerary 55-56.
117 Ginalis, Anthedon; Schäfer, Larymna 533-537 fig. 14; Schläger / Blackman / 
Schäfer, Anthedon 36 figs 9. 14.

Archaeology of the Harbours of Constantinople  |  Alkiviadis Ginalis  ·  Ayşe Ercan Kydonakis 43

four layers of bricks«, which they interpreted as the founda- the quayside at the Boukoleon harbour seems to again rep-
tion of the eponymous animal statue »Boukoleon« 122. Heher resent Middle Byzantine harbour architecture.
rightly doubts this interpretation and in turn proposes an A Middle Byzantine date for the harbour has also been
identification as a quay line belonging to a large ceremonial suggested by Mango and Heher 129. As opposed to Heher’s
square. Alternatively, he suggests that it may have been part assumption that the quayside could only have been con-
of a breakwater or mole construction 123. structed after the third and last construction phase of the
Given the description of the structural remains, the feature sea wall during the ninth to tenth centuries, a date around
obviously constituted a hydraulic concrete foundation with the turn of the seventh to the eighth century should rather
a brick superstructure. As such, it can indeed be identified be accepted. This matches perfectly with the erection of the
as the architectural element of some sort of harbour infra- second construction phase of the sea wall and the Tower of
structure. The proposed existence of a quay-like facility that Belisar, as well as that of the grand staircase as a monumental
featured a ceremonial area is therefore conceivable. However, access to the palace during the reign of Justinian  II (685-
given the location of the remains, it seems more likely to 695 and 705-711) or Tiberius III (698-705) 130. An additional
assume a mole construction on the inner side of a break- 3.2 m was added to the 6 m wide sea wall during the third
water, which enclosed the harbour basin coming from the construction phase, meaning that it can be assumed that the
western sea wall or the Tower of Belisar 124. This would not quayside originally had a total width of 9.2 m. Unsurprisingly,
only explain Buondelmonti’s drawing of an enclosed harbour this coincides exactly with the width of the seventh-to-eighth-
basin 125, but also agree with Nicetas Choniates’s statement century-dated southern quay at the harbour of Anthedon and
»…περὶ τὰς ἀκτὰς σαλεῦον καὶ τοὺς προβλῆτας, οἳ τὸ πάραλον the eastern quayside at Larymna (for which a width of 4.6 m
τεῖχος τῆς πόλεως διειλήφασι, τὰς τῶν κυμάτων ἀποθραύοντες is given for a single chamber) 131. Accordingly, the quayside
ἐμβολάς« 126. would originally have had a double-chamber construction.
Concerning its superstructure, it seems that the brickwork As a result, Mango is right in assuming that an independ-
rests directly on the concrete foundation. As such and in con- ent palace harbour approximately 1.45 ha in size, with a
trast to the eastern jetty at the Harbour of Theodosius, we harbour basin of up to 250 m long and 40 m wide, intended
might find here a continuation of the Roman tradition com- for private imperial use, was constructed, or simply altered
bining concrete with brick for the construction of an arched to its final shape, at some point after the sixth century and
mole structure. Given the arches or blind arcades at the before the ninth century 132. Based on the analysis of the ar-
western sea wall, the existence of an arched mole seems not chitectural remains of the various harbour features, a slightly
too far-fetched. Whether the latter formed just blind arcades different picture than that presented by Helbert (fig. 50) can
as decorative elements or proper arches remains unknown. be suggested: a significant difference may be proposed for
In fact, in order to find a way to act against the problem of the western harbour basin. While the existence of a quayside
siltation in a small harbour like the harbour of the Boukoleon along the entire façade of the Boukoleon Palace can indeed
Palace, such a building measure would have certainly made be assumed, the harbour cannot have reached as far south
sense. While the breakwater substructure reduced the force as the Tower of Belisar. The breakwater, with its mole super-
of the waves and hence broke the strength of the sea, it al- structure, should rather be considered as an extension of the
lowed the waves to break over it. Passing through the arches western sea wall. As such, it can be doubted whether the
of the mole, these subsequently created currents within the palace harbour ever featured a supposed ceremonial square.
harbour basin 127. Accordingly, it can be suggested that, with the new har-
As for the dating of the quay construction at the eastern bour situation in the Middle Byzantine period, the main em-
end of the harbour, the chamber system of intersecting lateral barkation and disembarkation area even shifted from the
and longitudinal walls finds comparison in the eastern jetty at western to the eastern harbour basin. This is supported by
the Harbour of Theodosius, as well as in quaysides and jetty or the massive quayside in front of Justinian’s house (figs 47-48)
mole constructions of the seventh to eighth centuries at a se- and by the change of the access point to the Boukoleon Pal-
ries of harbour sites, such as Anthedon, Larymna, Theologos, ace. While the first mooring facilities were accessible through
Aegina, Thessalian Thebes and Lechaion 128. Consequently, a 2.7 m wide gate at the western harbour basin during the

122 Heher, Boukoleonhafen 134; Mamboury / Wiegand, Kaiserpaläste 5, tab. VII, 127 Ginalis, Byzantine Ports 31.
XXXV. 128 Ginalis, Anthedon; Ginalis, Byzantine Ports 190; Knoblauch, Ägina 73; Paris,
123 See Heher, Harbour of the Bukoleon 82, in this volume; Heher, Boukoleon- Lechaion 10-11; Rothaus, Lechaion 295-296; Schäfer, Larymna 533-537
hafen 135. fig. 14; Schläger / Blackman / Schäfer, Anthedon 36 figs 9. 14; Triantafillidis / 
124 Even though the structural remains could have easily belonged to a jetty as Kou­tsoumba, Aegina 169.
well, such identification has to be ignored. Even with a calculated quayside 129 See Heher, Harbour of the Bukoleon 79, in this volume; Mango, Boukoleon
of around 9 m along the eastern harbour side, the distance of at least 40 m to 47.
the Tower of Belisar is far too great for a jetty in this harbour. 130 Bolognesi Recchi Franceschini, Seventh Survey 137-138; Heher, Boukoleon-
125 Effenberger, Pictorial Sources fig. 1, in this volume. hafen 126. 129; Heher, Harbour of the Bukoleon 73; Mango, Boukoleon 47.
126 Niketas Choniates, Historia 129 (van Dieten); Heher, Harbour of the Bukoleon 131 Ginalis, Anthedon; Schäfer, Larymna 533.
80. 132 Heher, Boukoleonhafen 132-135; Mango, Boukoleon 47.

44 Archaeology of the Harbours of Constantinople  |  Alkiviadis Ginalis  ·  Ayşe Ercan Kydonakis

reign of Justinian I, in correspondence with the alteration of various sections of pier constructions, as well as to jetty form-
the harbour at the turn of the seventh century to the eighth works or caissons. Although the wooden pier structures could
century the construction of the second phase of the sea wall not be entirely excavated, remains with a dimension of 8.4 x
shifted the gate to the eastern harbour basin 133. This seems 4 m and even as large as 8.2 x 5.25 m have been uncovered 144.
also to have been taken into account in the later construc- Unlike the equivalent remains documented at the Harbour of
tion of the grand staircase, which shows a large eastern gate Theodosius at Yenikapı, the piers do not consist of vertical
(figs 44b-d. 51) 134. piles only. For the first time, horizontal grid systems with a
floor level have also been preserved, which provide an unique
insight into the engineering details of pier constructions as
The Harbour of Chrysopolis at Üsküdar shown for example by the depiction of Gregory of Nazianzus’
departure from Constantinople dated to the eleventh century
Originally forming a deep sheltered bay, the harbour site of (fig. 52) 145. The horizontal grid consists of 0.25 m wide and
Chrysopolis at Üsküdar was used as a strategic interstation 5.2 m long carved wooden logs set in a grid on top of each
for the shipping lane through the Bosporus since classical other and pegged on the vertical piles driven into the ground
antiquity 135. Alongside the coastal sites of Chalcedon at (fig. 53). A mortise-and-tenon joinery system was applied for
Kadıköy, Hiereia (Hieron) and Eutropiu Limen at Kalamış bay, the fastening of the wooden elements 146. One pier section
it additionally acted as an important ferry harbour linking indicates that the uppermost layer of logs corresponds to the
Constantinople with its Asian coast opposite. Furthermore, it orientation of the pier. This last layer of logs was subsequently
formed a so-called Epineion 136 for Bithynia from the Roman covered with planks, thus set perpendicular to the orientation
Imperial period onwards and especially during the Byzantine of the pier (fig. 54). As for the construction material itself, it
era 137. Hence, it is not surprising that again plenty of archae- seems that the timbers were fired and pitched in order to
ological evidence of harbour activities were brought to light provide longer resistance to deterioration in the maritime
during the Marmaray-Metro Construction Project between environment 147.
2004 and 2008 138. The salvage excavations revealed, not The pier sections possess a roughly northwest-southeast
only a large number of ceramic artefacts, marble objects, orientation. Interestingly, its various parts show a different
stone anchors and a variety of architectural elements rang- river sediment infill. While the north-western section is filled
ing from pre-Classical times to the Ottoman period, but also with pure sand, at the south-eastern end boulders can also
various building remains belonging to harbour infrastruc- be found. Whether the latter derive from the siltation pro-
tures 139. These include a breakwater with a possible mole cess or whether they were set in order to reinforce the pier
construction 140, jetties, wooden pier remains and a potential in connection to another harbour structure and support it
quayside 141. The harbour situation is again quite complex against environmental impact, respectively, remains to be
due to the strong alteration of the coastline. The harbour site clarified. Corresponding to an alignment perpendicular to the
of Chrysopolis must have shifted quite frequently through north-west oriented shoreline, it points to the fact that at the
time as a result of the constant regression of the bay due to time of the construction of the piers, the coastline must have
siltation from the estuaries of the rivers Bülbül and Çavuş 142. considerably shifted (up to 1 km) towards the north-west
Therefore, it must be assumed that the harbour sites of the opening of the deep bay 148.
Archaic, Classical, Roman and Byzantine periods are situated This shift of the coastline also altered its physical condi-
in different locations. Similar harbour situations are also doc- tion 149. Thus, the change from a deep sheltered bay to an ex-
umented at other coastal sites in Asia Minor such as Ephesus posed open shoreline eventually required building measures
or Clazomenae 143. for the protection of the harbour site. Accordingly, a break-
As for the unearthed harbour structures, the most striking water had been erected. Like the breakwater at the Harbour
features again constitute wooden remains, which belong to of Theodosius (see above), the composition consists of large

133 Heher, Boukoleonhafen 129; Heher, Harbour of the Bukoleon 75-77 fig. 21. 140 A mole forms a masonry structure along the inner side of the breakwater. This
134 Mamboury / Wiegand, Kaiserpaläste tab. XXIII. increases the mooring space for the loading and unloading of ships within the
135 Karagöz, Khrysopolis Liman 401. 404. 414; Karagöz, Khrysopolis – Scutari 3 harbour basin in order to extend the commercial and traffic-related functions
fig. 7; Karagöz, Excavations 86. of the quay: Ginalis, Byzantine Ports 26. 30; Feuser, Hafenstädte 229.
136 During classical antiquity, the epineion (ἐπίνειον) constituted a harbour area 141 Karagöz, Khrysopolis Liman 402. 408-414; Karagöz, Chrysopolis 46-49. 52.
outside its associated city, but yet forming a part of it. During the Roman 142 Belke, Gates 165-166; Karagöz, Khrysopolis – Scutari fig. 7; Karagöz, Excava-
Imperial period, these so-called out-ports developed into independent coastal tions 101.
sites, often taking over the role and significance of their preceding ancient 143 Ersoy, Clazomenae 2-6; Steskal, Ephesos 327.
cities. The latest by the Early Byzantine period epineia formed crucial coastal 144 Karagöz, Khrysopolis Liman 408-410; Karagöz, Yapı 422.
centres, which acted as vital economic hubs and linking stations for the settle- 145 Cod. Taphou 14, f. 265r; Aidoni et al., Seaports 21 fig. 5.
ment network within a certain province: Ginalis, Byzantine Ports 15. 250-252. 146 Karagöz, Chrysopolis 49-50; Karagöz, Excavations 101.
137 Belke, Bithynien und Hellespont 296-298; Belke, Gates 166, in this volume; 147 Karagöz, Yapı 422.
Karagöz, Khrysopolis Liman 406. 412. 148 Belke, Gates 165; Karagöz, Chrysopolis 46; Karagöz, Khrysopolis – Scutari 5.
138 Belke, Gates 165; Karagöz, Excavations 85; Kızıltan, Yenikapı, Sirkeci and 149 Physical conditions indicate the consistence and configuration of a specific
Üsküdar 15. coastline, which is affected by the predominating waves, currents, tides and
139 Karagöz, Excavations 89-101. winds: Ginalis, Byzantine Ports 9; Karmon, Components 1.

Archaeology of the Harbours of Constantinople  |  Alkiviadis Ginalis  ·  Ayşe Ercan Kydonakis 45

quarry stones piled up on top of an internal core of rubble the Theodosian harbour, it can again be identified as of type
material 150. In order to provide the construction with stability »Mound Breakwater«.
against strong winds and absorb the force of the waves to As for the dating of the harbour site, in contrast to the
prevent a possible undermining, the structure shows an in- large time span of the archaeological finds, the earliest har-
clination towards the sea (fig. 55). In contrast to the sloping bour facilities are not to be dated before the Roman Imperial
outer part of the breakwater, the inner part drops abruptly period and most likely belong to Early Byzantine times, as
with a steep vertical angle. The upper part of the breakwater attested by the wooden piers 156. If any permanent harbour
is flattened, consisting of cut stones. structures of the Classical to Hellenistic periods ever existed,
A row of limestone blocks ranging in size from 0.5-2.9 m then they must have been situated further inland. In contrast
× 1-2 m × 0.25-0.9 m, with inserted spolia of marble column to the general understanding of the harbour situation 157,
fragments from the fifth to sixth centuries, may also be allo- which is similar to the quayside in the western basin of the
cated to a mole construction at the steep-angled inner edge Harbour of Theodosius (see above), any Roman coastal fa-
of a breakwater (fig. 56). The existence of a mole is further cilities must also be located slightly further southeast. These
supported by traces of intensive loading and unloading ac- may again have at least partly been re-used for any Early Byz-
tivities of traded goods attested to by numerous amphora antine harbour works. Unlike Procopius’ detailed description
fragments 151. After removing the limestone ashlar blocks, of construction works at the harbour of Eutropiu Limen and
almost completely preserved wooden formworks were re- possibly also at Hiereia during the sixth century 158, no such
vealed, forming the foundation of the mole construction building activities at Chrysopolis are confirmed by any Early
(fig. 16). These caissons are 5.25 m long and 1.8 m wide and Byzantine sources.
filled with a rough conglomerate of quarry stones and mortar, The building material, the marble column spolia of the
which most likely forms a certain type of hydraulic concrete mole and the wooden piers located farther to the southeast
composition 152. According to the latest publications of the indicate that additional harbour infrastructures must have ex-
excavation results that refer to studies on the analysis of the isted in the Early Byzantine period. This is supported by a large
mortar, its composition can allegedly be identified as the number of ceramic artefacts such as oil lamps or Unguentaria,
pozzolanic mortar described by Vitruvius and Procopius 153. all dating to the fifth to sixth centuries. In fact, these may
Based on Brandon’s definition 154, it seems more likely that again belong to the extensive building activities under the
this material no longer represents »Roman marine concrete«, reign of Emperor Justinian I or his immediate predecessors.
but rather follows Roman harbour construction techniques Indeed, a considerable amount of African Red Slip Ware (ARS)
by using a similar reacting aggregate. Consequently, it has shows trading connections to North African markets follow-
further to be examined whether the concrete mixture indeed ing its re-conquest and annexation in the 530s 159.
comprises Roman pozzolanic mortar or any other volcanic After the Early Byzantine period, the harbour obviously
ash or aggregate. suffered increasingly from constant siltation by river alluvium
If the extent of 13 m in east-west direction and 7 m in and other environmental impacts, such as earthquakes, or
north-south direction mentioned by Karagöz is to be attrib- geopolitical events 160. This eventually led to the shift of the
uted to the size of the mole construction and its breakwater harbour area farther north-west, but when did the relocation
substructure 155, then the dimension can be considered to be of the harbour site and, accordingly, the erection of a new
relatively small. However, it seems to have been sufficient harbour installation take place? While the pottery (particularly
for the demands of the harbour and to keep it operational the African Red Slip Ware) and the re-used spolia from the
for centuries. Concerning the functional efficiency, waves preceding Early Byzantine harbour site provide a terminus
must have been able to break over the structure in order to post quem of the sixth century, the construction of a large ec-
counteract the constant siltation process from the rivers by clesiastical complex on part of the supposed harbour basin in
creating controlled currents within the harbour basin. As such, the twelfth to thirteenth centuries may be taken as a terminus
the breakwater must have protruded from the surface of the ante quem 161. On the one hand, it is not just to assume that
sea. Level measures between +0.48 and +0.71 m indeed give it must have taken some time for the Early Byzantine harbour
that impression. Consequently, similar to the breakwater at site to become unusable for ships, thus making relocation

150 Karagöz, Khrysopolis Liman 410; Karagöz, Chrysopolis 46. 156 Karagöz, Khrysopolis Liman 408; Karagöz, Chrysopolis 49.
151 Karagöz, Khrysopolis Liman 411; Karagöz, Chrysopolis 47; Karagöz, Khrysop- 157 Belke, Gates 166, in this volume; Karagöz, Yapı 421-423.
olis – Scutari 3. 158 Prokopios, De Aedificiis I 11. 16-23 (IV 43-45 Haury / Wirth); Belke, Gates 167.
152 Karagöz, Khrysopolis Liman 413 fig. 13; Karagöz, Chrysopolis 47-48. 170, in this volume; Hohlfelder, Building Harbours 368-370.
153 Vitruvius, De Architectura V 12. 3 (129 Rose / Müller-Strübing); Prokopios, De 159 Karagöz, Khrysopolis Liman 414; Karagöz, Chrysopolis 44-45.
Aedificiis I 11. 18-20 (IV 44 Haury